On Friday, the Pierce Bears enjoyed a well-earned victory against the Esparto Spartans, 42-8.

Coach Anthony Tapia attributed the win to careful study of a previous game with many errors and a painful lesson for the team, as they nursed sore muscles from doing extra sit-ups and pushups for each error.

“Last week, we had a bunch of mistakes, and it gets addressed at practice,” said Tapia, “So, it’s nice to see them respond positively after a sloppy game.”

From the start, the Spartans received the kickoff and within minutes, a 3-yard pass was completed for a touchdown and the extra point was good, again scoring before the end of the first quarter. The rest of the first half of the game went so far in the Bear’s favor that players got to experience new positions.

Junior Eduardo Paiz and Senior Aiden Charter were the star players, but the feel-good story came from senior Mason Smith. Smith sustained a knee injury in Pierce’s first game, but he’s back in the game he enjoys. Smith scored a touchdown in last week’s game and is still continuing to get back into form.

“It’s gonna take him a couple more weeks,” said Tapia, “but we’re just we’re just testing him out and he’s responding well.”

Tapia added that he couldn’t be happier for him, saying that Smith is one of the hardest workers and someone that loves the sport.

“He was out there jumping and just loving it.”

Pierce scored another touchdown before the Spartans got their first and last chance to score. The team experimented with players trying out new positions and getting in a well-rounded experience.

“I feel like we came out pretty good from the start and we didn’t mess around. Not a lot of mistakes – a couple – but much better,” said Tapia. “It was nice to get this win.”

Certainly the team would agree since practice this week will not include a lesson on errors that would leave them tender. ■