Tex’s Team

Posted on 05. Sep, 2015 by in Christian school in Santa Monica, high school football, News


By Michael Ashcraft, journalism teacher at LCA

Then Tex got mad.

In the first half of Lighthouse Christian Academy‘s loss to The Rock Academy of Point Loma on Sept. 4, Tex Hagoski played well.

In the second half, Tex played like Attila the Hun. He scored the Saints’ only touchdown and converted, smashing and spinning his way mercilessly through four defenders to fall across the End Zone line.

The Saints were simply outgunned. For 10 years, the Warriors were in the much more taxing 11-man league. But they voluntarily descended to 8-man football this year, and the they brought with them overwhelming experience. The Saints lost 8-42 on the San Diego gridiron.

Tex’s runs and tackles were a Lighthouse signature. By coaches’ estimates, he carried the ball for 170 yards, made 10 solo tackles and joined five group tackles. It was his reception on a gun sprint pass that brought respectability to the Saints’ loss.

Tex’s turn

In many ways, this is Tex’s team.

Santa Monica varsity football

War weary at half time. They were overpowered, but Coach Zach coaxed out of them their best in the second half

He is the last of the “old school” generation at Lighthouse Schools, kids born into the church that attend our previously insular schools from cradle to grave (well, from K-12, at least).

Of these kids, the boys knew they were destined to play football. When the high school inaugurated its sports program, football was king. Senior Pastor Rob Scribner graced it with coaching he learned as a UCLA Bruin football player and then later as an L.A. Ram.

Pastor George Neos, who led LCA from , had been a Dartmouth University darling on their 4-time league winning team. Before he came to LCA’s help, he coached at Columbia University. After he joined LCA as principal, he pounded a team strapped for resources into strapping young men who terrorized better populated and more financed schools. Twice LCA was runner up.

As a child, Tex knew this and he didn’t shirk destiny.

Who would be his teammates?

But where were the other boys? A new generation of parents weren’t entering the church to provide him with comrades to field a team with.

Pastor Rob pulled out of coaching, and Pastor George transferred to Hesperia, where he pastors and is now founding a charter school.

The glory of Lighthouse football was flickering, and it appeared in danger of extinguishing entirely – in Tex’s generation.

When he was a freshman, Tex played on a team with seniors who were among the last of destiny. The church kids upset bigger teams with speed, agility and toughness. Coach Justin Kayne led that team into a strong playoff run. His younger brother, Joseph, was team captain and a main reason Kayne gave of his time freely to coach the team.

After Joseph’s generation graduated, it was Tex’s turn to lead.

New kids on the block

Fortunately, some new kids joined the school. Rob Ashcraft, now a senior, returned from the mission field. Unfortunately, he didn’t know the first thing about football. Born in Guatemala, he played soccer. And there was one impediment. His father was terrified of his son playing football and vowed to never sign the permission slip. But his dad didn’t at first fully understand what it means to be a Lighthouse family.

Lighthouse Christian Academy football | Santa Monica

The LCA football team just before the snuck off from a tour of Pepperdine University to go to their game in San Diego on Sept. 4.

Rob bulked up into a 200-pound mass of muscle. If his dad was afraid of football injury, Rob tore his ACL playing soccer and had to sit out one football season. He now backs Tex on runs, tackles, receptions, even passes.

Then there was Adrian Brizuela, another soccer player and friend of Rob’s. His mother was vehemently opposed to her son jeopardizing his future in the world’s sport for America’s sport. Eventually, she too relented. Today Adrian is our quarterback. His specialty is use his Latin feet to dance and twirl past defenders.

Suddenly, 15 new kids showed up this year at LCA – and there was a team.

Basketball, soccer and Wisdom’s glare

Freshman Justin Berry, a basketball player, decided to join the football fun. Abraham Kennedy, another soccer player, got into the fray after transferring to LCA from Santa Monica High School last year.

Timid and pudgy Jelove Mira joined as the team’s center under pressure from his older sister, Wisdom, who led our girls’ volleyball team last year and graduated and enrolled at Azusa Pacific University this year. He was definitely not typical football material, but coaches were desperate for anyone to make up the team and have worked with him and transformed him. Thank God for Wisdom’s withering glare.

And this is how the odd-patch quilt of LCA football was rescued from a predicted demise.

And leading the pack is Tex.

But Tex is a surfer

Oddly as it may sound, not even Tex is truly a football player. His passion is surfing, and he never played Pop Warner football like his predecessors, like virtually all varsity football players in high schools.

It was just Lighthouse destiny for Tex to play, and the muscle-bound good-natured young man embraced that destiny. He’s a fun-loving kid who likes to joke around endlessly with friends. Don’t make him mad though. If you do, he’ll undergo a Hulk-like metamorphosis and become Tex the Terrible.

That’s what happened at Friday’s game. An opponent talked smack, and Tex came out in the second half smelling blood.

“In the beginning, the game was a little slow,” Tex said. “By the end of it, it got really, really fun. We kind of pulled together more, especially in offense, and it became fun.

“It’s not all just me. It’s a team effort.”

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2 Responses to “Tex’s Team”

  1. […] Tex’s runs and tackles were a Lighthouse signature. By coaches’ estimates, he carried the ball for 170 yards, made 10 solo tackles and joined five group tackles. It was his reception on a gun sprint pass that brought respectability to the Saints’ loss. Read the rest of the article. […]

  2. […] Tex’s runs and tackles were a Lighthouse signature. By coaches’ estimates, he carried the ball for 170 yards, made 10 solo tackles and joined five group tackles. It was his reception on a gun sprint pass that brought respectability to the Saints’ loss. Read the rest of the article. […]

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