The 2023 Peninsula Football team completed the year with a 3-7 overall record. The Panthers recorded wins versus Katella, South Torrance and West Torrance this year and played in many close games that were decided by 7 points or less. This year the Panthers were led on both sides of the ball by their outstanding 2 way player on the line Andrew Russell. Will Molony, Harper Holden, Evan Altman and Isiah Wiggins anchored a strong and tough defensive line that held opponents in check most of the year. Senior Linebacker Duby Oranu led the defense this year in tackles and alongside Sophomore, Joel Friebe Makinto and Junior, Hudson Meyer, they were a fun group to watch make plays all year long. Defensive Backs led by Trysten Tays, Nathan Madani and Beau Elliot played hard and recorded a record number of interceptions for the Defensive Backs this season.
Offensively the Panthers were led by Mario Ruggiero at QB but were given their offensive firepower from a solid running game that was highlighted by Ryan Mona-Hunter, Kamran Dowlatshahi and Roberto Villanueva. Sean Dunn, Kai Nagashima, Max Martinov, Hiro Huang and Caden Correll provided solid targets as stellar wide receivers this year, keeping the Panther Offense moving when they needed a first down or big play. The Panther Football team fought hard and left it all out on the field, always playing with pride for their school and community.
Peninsula High School's inaugural girls flag football season was a remarkable journey filled with triumph and growth. With an impressive overall record of 8-2-1 (5-2-1) and a second-place finish in the Bay League, the team's achievements were nothing short of commendable. One of the season's highlights was their victory over the previously undefeated Redondo team, which showcased their determination and skill.
The girls on the team formed strong bonds and had a blast throughout the season, proving themselves to be true trailblazers in this newly introduced sport. The leadership of the five seniors, Sierra Palese, Natalie Ponce, Emily Grace Lew, Rylee Izumo, and Katara Chang, played a vital role in the team's success. They guided their teammates with a perfect balance of fun and seriousness, helping them learn and excel in a sport that most of the girls had never played before.
Junior MVP Nicolette Daniel emerged as a key player, demonstrating her prowess on the field. With nine touchdown catches and an impressive thirteen interceptions, she showcased her exceptional skills and contributed significantly to the team's achievements.
The success of the inaugural season would not have been possible without the dedication and support of Coach Daley, Coach Helmrich, the girls themselves, their families, and the community. Their combined efforts created an unforgettable season and laid a strong foundation for the future of girls flag football at Peninsula High School.
As the season comes to a close, the team eagerly anticipates what the next season will bring. With the lessons learned, the camaraderie forged, and their undeniable talent, there's no doubt that the girls of Peninsula High School will continue to shine on the field, leaving their mark as true pioneers in the sport.