Venice Hosts Birmingham In First Round Of Open Division Playoffs Tonight

Samuel Laxamana, Sports Editor

Football, 8-2, will be going against two-time defending Open Division champions Birmingham Patriots, 6-4, in the first round of the Open Division playoffs.

“They have an excellent history of winning and beating playoff runs and championships,” according to coach Angelo Gasca. “It’s certainly a challenge but in order to sometimes be the best team, we’re going to have to beat the best team. And it might as well be tonight.”

Gasca said that he is very proud of the growth and development of the team and expects them to bring their best to the field.

“For some players, it’s been four years of hard work that’s brought them to this point—and you hope and expect them to play their best and move forward because of that experience,” he said.

Gasca expects the same players to continue making an impact to the teams performance during the season, especially in today’s game.

“The same players that will always have a bigger impact will probably continue to do so—Robert Lamar, Rashawn Jackson, Romeo Signore, Cody Premer and Paul Kessler,” he said

“And All the Linemen–Nathan, Marcus and all of the players that have been playing well this year.

“I am really proud of their development, effort and their performance.”

Gasca said he expects the team to continue what they’re doing at a higher level and to especially be able to go against Birmingham and future opponents.

“We hope to just keep getting better until the end, and we did that throughout the league—and now it’s a new season,” he said. “The last part of the session is the championships, and that’s where we’re at. So we have to take our game to another level.”


Jackson, a captain, said that the team started from nothing at one point, and that they have had to build up the team throughout the season.

“Our team was very small and half our team hadn’t played football before ever in their life,” he said. “We had to build them up to a point where they’re able to know that they can play against anybody and whoever steps up in front of them.”

The Gondoliers blew out the Palisades Dolphins 60-14 October 28.

“We knew what we came out there to do. And we are just out there to defeat them, after all the talking Palisades was doing. So we just came out there and let them have it,” said Jackson.

According to Gasca, they approached the game as a league championship game.

“We knew that how we played in that game would determine our playoff seeding and our ranking and also determine the league champion. It was pretty important and I think our growth as a team showed that night,” he said.

After defeating an opponent like Palisades, the team has to always remember about the next game and to improve, said Gasca.

“It doesn’t really mean anything unless we continue to improve because as we play the rest of this season, our opponents will be better and better every week,” he said.