‘Gades won’t play in Potato Bowl

Leanne Cave

There will be nothing on the line Saturday as the 2002 Bakersfield College Renegades play their last home game of the season against Glendale College at Memorial Stadium at 4 p.m.

With an overall record of 3-5, and 1-4 in the Western State Conference standings, there will be no state championship, no Western State Conference championship and according to Jan Stuebbe, athletic director at BC, no Potato Bowl invitation for the first time since 1991.

“It’s been a tough season for the ‘Gades,” Stuebbe said.

“That happens. With the youth and inexperience of the team, we just hope the coaches and players do the best they can.”

Besides youth, inexperience and key injuries, parity in the WSC also has played a role in a down year for the ‘Gades.

Dallas Grider, head coach, agreed.

“There seems to be parity within the conference, we are all beating each other up. Glendale comes in at 3-5, the same as we are. They are struggling. They are like watching us play.”

What is unusual is that the ‘Gades have lost back-to-back games against opponents like Cerritos and Citrus College for the first time in years.

BC’s special team play, which is usually executed as smooth as silk, has been as inconsistent as the New York Stock Exchange.

“Special teams have not made the big plays,” Grider said.

After a 26-13 road loss to Los Angeles Valley on Nov. 1, the ‘Gades hoped to rebound against Citrus at home on Nov. 9.

But once again errors as well as inconsistency on special teams (the kicking game) cost the ‘Gades as they lost in overtime to the Owls 24-23, because of a missed extra point after a touchdown.

Ironically, the ‘Gades suffered the same fate while playing at Citrus last season.

They lost in overtime 14-13 when the owls blocked an extra point.

“You know that we’re going to make these mistakes early in the season,” Grider said.

“But we’re not making progress. We’re into the seventh and eighth game of the season and still making the same mistakes.”

The most the ‘Gades can hope for is a 5-5 season if they win the last two games.

“Next season we expect to be better on both sides of the ball,” said Josh Saso, freshman defensive tackle.

“We’ll have a year under our belts and we’ll play better together.”