by Oscar Pinto
If Columbus doesn't do anything before an Apopka field goal, they would be the state champions. Blocked.
Twenty-five seconds to go in overtime. It is 13-10 Apopka with Columbus 5 yards from the endzone. Everyone on the edge of their seats. Quarterback Alberto Mendoza gets the ball, and hands it to running back Sedick Irvin. Irvin hands it to receiver Aj Arellano. Aj Arellano, a former quarterback, throws it to Alberto Mendoza. Touchdown. Columbus wins on the Philly Special.
Back-to-back sounds crazy in some people's eyes.
Is it a possibility?
According to Coach Fernandez, varsity quarterbacks coach, “They are capable of making states if the team commits itself to working hard, staying together and believing in each other. If those things do not end up happening then it is not coming home”.
At the start of the season, the Columbus team was looking very strong on a six-game win streak winning against schools such as Clearwater Academy, Miami Palmetto Senior High School and Miami Northwestern Senior High School.
Receiver Jose Leon said this after the Palmetto game, "This ain't a rivalry. You can’t lose 5 times and call that a rivalry."
But that all came to a stop though on October 7.
Columbus underestimated their opponents Homestead Senior High School and the nightmare came, losing 32-16. Six days later, the team bounced back and ended up blowing out Doral 44-8.
And finally, on Friday, October 20, Columbus played the GMAC finals against 15th in the nation, Miami Norland Senior High School. Without starting quarterback Mendoza, Columbus knew it was going to be a tough game. In a defensive battle, Norland emerged victorious with a score of 16-3.
This is a team with a lot of potential when healthy and with playoffs starting Thursday against Goleman, states has to be top of mind.
According to Sebastian Broche, a senior who used to play D line on varsity says, “To be honest on being part of Columbus defense last year and now seeing it from a view as solely a broadcaster, I really do think Columbus can go back to back states”.
Back-to-back state champs? The Columbus community thinks so.