In 2011, Whittier (Calif.) La Serna High entered the season with high hopes that quickly turned to embarrassment when it yielded an astonishing 84 points in an 84-21 rout at the hands of West Covina (Calif.) High in the Southeast Division championship game.
This year a similar letdown has not been coming. Through four games, La Serna is 4-0, and they're winning with style. And if they needed any official exorcism of past ghosts, the La Serna squad got it on Friday by rolling past traditional power Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake High by the final score of 38-9.
As noted by the Los Angeles Times, the 2012 La Serna squad that is cruising through Southern California opponents is eerily similar to the one left crestfallen in 2011.
Sixteen of the 2012 La Serna starters were in the starting lineup a year earlier, and nearly all of the other players who have filled in to lost holes were also in attendance when La Serna was routed in the divisional title game.
For his part, La Serna coach Margarito Beltran said there was no doubt about why his team had come out of the gates as impressively as it has.
"We have a little chip on our shoulders," Beltran told the Times.
Amazing how a 63-point loss in a title game can do that to a team. Somehow it sure seems as if such a loss won't befall La Serna again anytime soon.