Long Beach Poly football relishes chance to play against Aquinas in playoff atmosphere – Press Telegram

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LONG BEACH – When Long Beach Poly coach Stephen Barbee learned that his team’s Moore League game this week against Cabrillo would be called off due to COVID protocols, he still wanted to play football.

“When we found out we weren’t going to be able to play, we looked for the best possible competition,” said Barbee.

After some discussions, Barbee was able to come to an agreement with Aquin coach Jordan Brusig, who also had an opening on his team’s schedule for Friday, October 8.

Barbee said Poly looks forward to playing a quality opponent at the end of the regular season.

“Thomas Aquinas is a great team, very well trained. A very physical team, ”said Barbee. “We are delighted to be able to play in a play-off type atmosphere at home. “

  • Long Beach Poly head coach Stephen Barbee watches during the second half of a Moore League preseason soccer game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, September 24, 2021. Long Beach Poly a defeated Millikan 42-28. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, collaborating photographer)

  • Millikan head coach Romeo Pellum, left, and Long Beach Poly head coach Stephen Barbee, right, hug each other at the end of a Moore League preseason football game at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, September 24, 2021. Long Beach Poly defeated Millikan 42-28. (Photo by Raul Romero Jr, collaborating photographer)

  • Long Beach Poly head coach Stephen Barbee watches his players during a non-championship game against Mission Viejo at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach on Friday, September 3, 2021 (Photo by Kyusung Gong / Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach Polys Shea Kuykendall searches for an open man as the Jackrabbits take on Wilson in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, October 1, 2021. (Photo by Tracey Roman, collaborating photographer)

  • Long Beach Polys Jason Robinson finds an opening as the Jackrabbits take on Wilson in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, October 1, 2021. (Photo by Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Wilsons Elijah Wilkins attempts to stop Long Beach Polys Tyson Bordeaux as the two teams face off in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, October 1, 2021. (Photo by Tracey Roman, collaborating photographer)

  • Long Beach Polys Shea Kuykendall looks to overtake Wilsons Jack Gentile as the two teams face off in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, October 1, 2021. (Photo by Tracey Roman, collaborating photographer)

  • The Long Beach Poly cheerleaders celebrate a touchdown as they take on Long Beach Wilson at Vets Stadium in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, October 1, 2021. (Photo by Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach Polys quarterback Shea Kuykendall executes him for a Jackrabbit touchdown in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, October 1, 2021. (Photo by Tracey Roman, collaborating photographer)

  • Wilsons Johnell Gray tries to pass Long Beach Polys Daylen Austin and Austin King as the two teams face off in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, October 1, 2021. (Photo by Tracey Roman, collaborating photographer)

  • Long Beach Polys Jason Robinson runs to score for the Jackrabbits as they take on Wilson in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, October 1, 2021. (Photo by Tracey Roman, Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach Polys Shea Kuykendall executes it for a touchdown as the Jackrabbits take on Wilson at Vets Stadium in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, October 1, 2021 (Photo by Tracey Roman, collaborating photographer)

Aquinas (3-3) is ranked # 100 in the southern section of the CIF by Calpreps, and Poly is ranked # 75.

Barbee said he hasn’t given much thought to how Calpreps’ ranking will ultimately determine the playoff standings.

“You watch it, but it changes every week,” Barbee said. “We have to be concerned with everything we can control, our practice, our efforts to prepare for Thomas Aquinas.”

Poly takes his match against Thomas Aquinas seriously.

They moved their practices to a natural grass surface to prepare for Friday’s competition to simulate game situations.

“We train on the grass, we get used to it. Playing on grass is completely different from playing on grass, ”added Barbee. “It’s obviously going to come down to execution. It’s a team that wants to run the ball and we’re going to have to stop that and run in attack.

Poly will also focus on ball safety, winning the turnover battle, and performing in special teams as keys to success.

“We are very happy that this game is appearing and can play,” said Barbee. “It’s their homecoming and I know they are excited and it will be a very difficult environment to play in and it will be a good challenge for our children.”



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