BOTB 2021, and a Captain’s Insight


Britta Wolker, Journalist

Undoubtedly, Battle of the Bay is every early 2000s movie blueprint: two opposing teams from opposite sides of town battling one another in the most populated game of the year. The hot-potato in the room is a nine-year winning streak accomplished by the players in silver, blue, white, and muddy black zinc as their uniforms. A biased statement to say the least, Corona del Mar was bound to win, and so they did.


Before the game, senior and captain Max Lane reflected upon his feelings going into the game. Whether it was by sheer confidence or slight doubt, his emotions were an anxious mix of nerves and excitement. “We are pretty prepared, so we should play well. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it. I’m happy it’ll pay off.”


As the game commenced, “Enter Sandman” by Metallica boomed against stadium walls and ushered those scrambling to find their seats before kickoff. When the crowd began to lift their arms in a blue-powdered mess, Max Lane, Gavin Scott, Charlie Mannon, and Nathan Bloom linked hands in a synchronized march to meet the opposing team’s captains.


Throughout the game, Newport Harbor’s insecurity was evident: they failed to play offensively, scoring a total of only 12 points in a repeated attempt to suppress CdM’s more offensive approach that had amassed up to 28 points by the 3rd quarter. Slowly but surely, CdM made their way up the field, with one big break in which running-back Evan Sanders scored a touchdown.


As CdM’s players were showered with hard shoulder-slaps and sweaty hugs, Max Lane reflected upon his last Battle of the Bay. When asked to respond to what satisfied him the most, leaving the BOTB tradition for the last time he expressed, “I’m pretty happy to be out here with all my brothers, I’ve grown up with them. We got to finish it off. We’ve never lost. Four straight wins. It’s pretty awesome to have.” To the newer players aspiring to eventually have their chance in playing on varsity, Lane smiled compassionately to say “Trust the system. The coaches have a good program here and they get you going and develop great players. It’ll all work out.”


Momentarily, Lane was once again approached to be congratulated. He then resumed to answer what faithful reminder he keeps in his mindset during games: “Just be confident. I think confidence and being mentally strong is key. In yourself and in your game. We’ve been working all this time and we know it’ll pay off just to believe in yourself.” Before he left to join the rest of his team, Lane measured his thanks to “[his] parents, family, but also to [his] friends that have motivated and made [him] better every day.”


The players run to celebrate with one another. The crowd leaves, most of them with plans to make a quick pit-stop at In-n-Out. From quite a distance, stadium lights glint on the helmets of the winners, and the scoreboard is frozen in fluorescent numbers that reveal the score thirty-five to twelve.