Venice High did not accomplish its goal this season of becoming the first Gondolier team to win the L.A. City Section football championship.
But Coach Angelo Gasca and his players can be proud of what they did accomplish — winning 10 of 12 games and going undefeated in the Western League for the second straight year.
Venice defeated Sylmar in the first playoff round but lost to Narbonne, 48-31 in the second round.
The offense was led by senior Alfonso Medina, a returning all-league quarterback. Jonathan McNeal, the team’s best all-around player, returned for the final three games after missing five due to a knee injury. And a large group of other players worked well together and showed improvement.
When McNeal was out Larry Clark moved from wide receiver to tight end. Clark, who will be a senior next season, scored eight touchdowns and had more than 600 yards with his receptions.
Aaron Jones, who also was all-league a year ago, was the leading ball carrier. Ignatius Porcia was an outstanding linebacker and had three sacks in a non-league game against Muir. Treadry Caldwell impressed rival coaches with his speed.
For the seniors, the city championship was such an important goal that some, including Michael Tessier, observed that failing to win it would make the season a disappointment.
But all the players should take pride in their many victories and look forward to future accomplishments on and off the field.
Gasca, a former Venice High and Santa Monica College quarterback, has put together a consistently outstanding program at Venice, where he’s been the head coach for 10 years
Upcoming will be McNeal and several teammates choosing a college. The versatile McNeal, 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, has received several scholarship offers as a linebacker.