Baldwin Park gets its groove back

By Aram Tolegian
After an 0-2 start, Baldwin Park’s season appeared headed toward disaster. Not anymore. Despite being heavy underdogs, the Braves got things turned around two weeks ago by beating Cantwell. They followed it last week with a win over San Gabriel. It wasn’t just the losses to start the season that had fans concerned. It was to whom and how. Baldwin Park was routed by El Monte in Week 0, then struggled the following week in a 9-7 loss to Lancaster. Somehow, though, the light went on, and Baldwin Park may be ready to contend again in the Valle Vista League after two wins over solid teams.

“I think we’re starting to make less mistakes now,” Baldwin Park coach James Heggins said. “We’re starting to make the plays it takes to win football games.

“I hope it gives us the confidence that we can play good football against good football teams. That’s what the preseason is for: to find your way and clean up the things you need to clean up before you get to league.”

The Braves didn’t win a nonleague game last year but rebounded to finish second in the Valle Vista League, but that was a veteran team with area standouts at several positions. This year’s team isn’t nearly as experienced, so gaining confidence prior to league was important.

“I think there’s definitely more confidence,” Heggins said. “Our guys did a great job of staying the course of being committed to the way we prepare. They stayed committed to playing sound football to get to where we want to be.”

A change at quarterback also may have had something to do with it. Following the Lancaster loss, Heggins made sophomore Michael Moran his starter, and the team has gone from scoring 24 total points in its first two games to 49 combined in the past two weeks.

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