The task was daunting even before Pasadena hit the field for practice this spring.
Bulldogs football coach Randy Horton scheduled two powerhouse programs for their first two games of the season. The season opener was against Alemany of Mission Hills, a team that was undefeated last year heading into the CIF-SS Pac-5 Division semifinals before losing to eventual two-time defending champion Servite, 28-21. On Friday, Pasadena (0-1) visits Cathedral of Los Angeles.
“We schedule them to get those guys ready for (Pacific) league,” Horton said. “I’ve always been taught that you have to play the best to be the best.”
Pasadena headed into the season opener battling uncertainty. But one thing Horton and the Bulldogs didn’t lack was confidence.
Alemany showed Pasadena who’s boss with a 55-0 drubbing, and despite what the score indicated Horton has his view of how things turned out.
“When we looked back on film a lot of it is just mistakes we made,” Horton said. “We gave away three touchdowns. We dropped a pass when it was only 7-0 and dropped an interception for a touchdown. We had chances out there, but we had blown coverages and missed assignments. We didn’t do a great job of coaching that night, so it’s not all the kids’ fault. I don’t think they’re 55 points better than us, but it is what it is. Alemany’s a good, disciplined team.”
Therein lies the Bulldogs’ problem.
“With my kids it’s all mental,” Horton said. “It’s not so much the physical part.”
Horton said Pasadena needed a bye last week after losing to Alemany and now prepares for another tough road game against the Phantoms (1-0). That the Bulldogs open the season in two tough environments could serve them well in the long run.
“It’s good because it builds character for our kids,” Horton said. “I want to see what our kids are made of. One thing the kids did was work hard (against Alemany) and they didn’t quit.”