The Inglewood Sentinels football team are currently ranked 23rd in California and has a 6-0 overall record. Last Friday, the Sentinels shut out the Hawthorne Cougars 59-0 for their homecoming game.
The Inglewood defense kept Hawthorne’s possessions short, frequently denying them first downs unless a penalty was involved. Inglewood senior wide receiver Tomarion Harden noted how they did not let penalties called on them deter them.
“Just keep your composure, don’t keep your head down,” he said. “Just keep your head up and move on from that.”
Although Hawthorne forced Inglewood to have two turnovers on downs, it was not enough to quell the Sentinel’s campaign. Inglewood’s offense made big plays while their defense committed sacks and interceptions that led to touchdowns.
“I got four sacks,” said Inglewood senior linebacker Marshon Oxley. “Defense, we executed as we should, offense did they stuff.”
Inglewood excelled during their abbreviated season last spring and are happy to compete in a full nine-game season.
“I’m excited, it gets me prepared for college,” said Inglewood senior quarterback Justyn Martin. “Just getting out here and playing is a blessing always.”
Oxley knows how important it is to put academics first, especially during the pandemic. Focusing on his goals helped him persevere academically.
“I wasn’t gonna allow myself to fail, that’s what kept me motivated,” he said. “College kept me motivated to stay on my stuff in school.”
Throughout this season, Inglewood held their opponents to 12 points or less. Three teams, including Hawthorne were scoreless. Senior linebacker Taariq Al-uqdah noted how their work ethic attributes to Inglewood’s undefeated status.
“Our coaches stay on us everyday, always working hard,” he said. “We stay on each other, make sure we’re playing at each other’s best.”
Several Inglewood players have been getting offers and recognition for their talents. Wide receiver Louis Brown IV recently committed to Nevada. Al-uqdah and Clint Stephens have been invited to compete in the All-American Bowl. The Bowl invites the top 100 high school football players in the United States, it is the most watched high school event.
Al-uqdah persevered through a knee injury during his ninth grade year to reach the success he has now.
“I was out for six months and the physical therapy and still going in at practice and in the weight room,” he said. “I feel like that was challenging, but I overcame it.”
Martin de-committed to Cal Berkeley, but still has offers from several universities, including UCLA, Ole Miss, Oregon, and Michigan. He noticed the different ways in which his leadership skills have been improving.
“This whole year for me was leadership and just trying to bring the guys around me together and make them better,” Martin said. “I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better since the first game of the year … I’m gonna keep progressing.”
Inglewood will travel to compete against the Compton Centennial Apaches this Friday at 7:00P.M.