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Questions linger, character shines at Prep

October 20, 2011
  • Flintridge Prep football Coach Antonio Harrison.
Flintridge Prep football Coach Antonio Harrison. (Cheryl A. Guerrero,…)

"It's like feeding them to the wolves."

Antonio Harrison

Flintridge Prep coach on what it would have been like if he would have elected to play his team against Campbell Hall.

With dark clouds looming and the rain sure to fall on a bleak Tuesday afternoon in early October, Antonio Harrison made a disheartening decision for an unprecedented second time.

Nearly two weeks have passed since Harrison and his Flintridge Prep football team forfeited their Prep League opener against Webb — their second forfeit of the season after a loss to Campbell Hall on Sept 24.

Ahead of them this week is a return to action and a homecoming game against Viewpoint that the Rebels see as a game of the utmost importance. Not because of Prep League standing, playoff implications or rivalry, no, it's something more now.

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"The way we respond in these next few games is how we can change the point of view of how football is perceived at Prep," says Rebels junior Kurt Kozacik.

Right now, football at Prep should be perceived as a program in danger with warm bodies falling by the wayside and getting slimmer and slimmer by the play, the week and, perhaps, the season. But for the 16 or "hopefully 17" players, according to Harrison, that will suit up on Saturday at La Cañada High and however many finish out the 2011 season, it's clear that this autumn's challenges and hardships, while they've unveiled some serious concerns about the Prep program, have also revealed who these Rebels truly are.

As in any sport and with any team, this football season for these 2011 Rebels will likely be judged by wins and losses. Currently, they are 1-4 with four consecutive losses — two by forfeit and the other two by more than 40 points. Looking deeper into the numbers, these last four weeks have seen only one Rebels football game, with two forfeits and a bye week cluttered around a lopsided loss to Malibu. And, of course, there's the depleted roster that has bounced between 12 and 19 — figures that prove eye-popping for all the wrong reasons.

But as the focus for Flintridge Prep has moved to forfeited games, you get a more accurate glimpse when you look at their practices.

There was hell week. That's when all the work started and too many stopped showing up.

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