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Loomis celebrates Del Oro High football

Town of Loomis honors Del Oro High football with a welcome home parade after the state bowl game
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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The Town of Loomis honored the Del Oro High School football team with a parade down Taylor Road last week.
The marching band, cheerleaders, coaching staff and team made a short trip down Taylor Road on Wednesday, Dec. 21, while hundreds of students and fans cheered them on.
The parade had been planned by town staff the week before the team went to the school’s first state championship – win or lose. The town wanted to honor the team for winning the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title and for going to state.
But Del Oro High School used the parade as an opportunity to thank the community for the tremendous amount of support they received during their winning season. The school’s cheerleaders carried painted signs that said, “Del Oro loves Loomis” and “Thanks for the support!”
The flatbed truck carrying the coaching staff and some of their younger children boar signs which read, “A small town is like a big family – thank you.”
During the parade, the Golden Eagle players were back in high spirits after their 35-24 loss to Helix High School, on Dec. 17, in Carson.
Brandon Barker, of Loomis, attended the parade with his sons Colby, 8, and Zach, 13.The boys attend H. Clarke Powers School and Zach plans to play football at Del Oro next year as a freshman.
Barker is a member of the chain gang at football games and helps with measurements for first downs. He wasn’t able to make the trip to Southern California, but instead watched the game on television.
When asked if he was disappointed by the loss, he said, “They’re the first team to go to state. You can’t be disappointed by that. They played a good game.”
Connor Lewis, 8, from Loomis Grammar School, was at the parade. He said he was there because “a few days ago it was Del Oro’s last day of football.”
Adrianna Willis, 9, also from Loomis School, said, “We’re here to cheer them up because they lost.”
Bob Patterson, of Loomis, stood along the parade route and was asked if he had a son on the team.
“I have 47 sons there,” said Patterson, who is reported to be one of the team’s biggest supporters and fans.
“This team has gone where no other Del Oro team has gone before,” he said.
Del Oro sophomore Duncan Small, a player, participated in the parade.
He said, “It was great being down there (Southern California), but it’s great to be home where the Eagles fly. I love the community.”
Senior player Alex Bertrando said, “It was lots of fun being with my teammates. We’re so thankful for everyone coming out to support us.”
When asked how he felt about the loss, he said, “I still think about it. Even though we didn’t win, we’re happy that we got there. It was a great experience.”
Senior player Tanner Huber said he appreciated the “warm welcome from the community,” while Mason Andreatta, who remained on the injured list all season after suffering his third concussion, said he was on the sidelines with the team during the big game.
“We didn’t win, but the fact we were there was cool. It was a great experience.”
John O’Sullivan, father of player Nick and a linebacker coach for the Golden Eagles, called the end of the season “bittersweet.”
“It’ll be nice to have my time back, but I’m going to miss them. They’re just a great group of classy kids. They showed great character.”
O’Sullivan said Del Oro has some strong teams coming up at the younger levels.
“We’ll be a tough team to deal with for sure,” he said.
As to next year’s ambitious preseason schedule, he said, “Casey and staff don’t mess around. He (Taylor) says, ‘To be the best, you have to play the best,’ and it shows.”
Coach Casey Taylor said, “We appreciate the whole community support we’ve received, especially this last year.”
He said he’s looking forward to spending time with his family over the holiday break and after that he said he’ll “come back and start working towards next year.”