There was only one really good team at Warren of Downey going from its first season in 1956 until just the last two seasons (both in 2021). The Bears really struggled in the early 2010s, but have turned it around under head coaches Raul Lara and Kevin Pearson. Go inside for a snapshot look at the program’s history in this latest school to get its all-time scores archives completed.
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Since Warren High began playing football games in 1956 as the second school in Downey after the town’s first high school from many years before, there has never been a player on campus who has garnered the attention of current quarterback Nico Iamaleava.
Regarded as one of the elite signal callers in the nation, Iamaleava had made the move to play at nearby Long Beach Poly for his senior season, but has since returned to Warren and will now be looking to make some history at a school that has never had the type of success as many teams in Long Beach Poly’s history have had.
It remains to be seen what Nico and his teammates will do this season, but before it begins here’s a look at Warren’s football history highlights and how much a CIF Southern Section title or even a CIF state title would mean to the school community.
The main reason such a season would be such big news is that the Bears have never won a CIFSS title and have never won a CIF state title. Both will require a bit of luck in terms of where the squad would land in the CIFSS playoffs, which is based completely on competitive equity. Just last year, Warren was slotted in the CIFSS D2 playoffs (eventually won by Orange Lutheran) and was upset in its first game, 42-35, by Corona del Mar of Newport Beach. It was not missed by anybody close to the team, though, that Serra of Gardena was in D3 and not only won the CIFSS D3 title but also won the CIF D1-A state crown. During the regular season, the Bears defeated the Cavaliers, 14-0.
That loss to Corona del Mar also snapped what research shows was tied for the longest win streak in school history at 13 games. Most schools do have longest win streaks of much longer length and it is an example that Warren’s program for most of its history has been quite mediocre with just a few solid to great teams that have come along.
It could still be argued that the best team in Warren’s history was in 1978 when the Bears went 11-1. That team started out with a huge 20-18 victory over Bishop Amat of La Puente (back in the days when the Lancers were among the elite powers of Southern California). A perfect regular season was capped with a 14-7 victory against Lynwood. Then came CIFSS playoff wins of 30-3 over Loara of Anaheim and 16-6 over Villa Park. The Bears couldn’t get past Pacifica of Garden Grove in the third round, though, in a 14-7 defeat.
One of the players on that 1978 squad was quarterback Jeff Tedford. He would later play at Cerritos College and Fresno State and went on to become a successful head coach, known mainly for his years at Cal with Aaron Rodgers and then later and currently at Fresno State.
Tedford played for legendary Cerritos College head Frank Mazzotta, who was just starting out there, but Mazzotta also was a head coach for several years at Warren High before he started out his 40-year career with the Falcons. Mazzotta retired in 2018 with a 255-160-6 record with 21 bowl game appearances and seven conference titles.
Probably the best NFL player to come from Warren has been quarterback Eric Hipple, Class of 1975, who played for 10 years in the league (mostly with the Detroit Lions).
Warren’s football fortunes took a big dip beginning in 2011 when the Bears were only able to finish 1-8-1. That was followed by back to back winless seasons (0-10) in both 2012 and 2013.
It wasn’t until Raul Lara took over as head coach in 2014 when things turned around. Lara had been the head coach at Long Beach Poly earlier in his career where he had some of the top teams in the nation in the early 2000s. Warren posted a 5-5 record in Lara’s first season, followed by 8-3 in 2015. The Bears slipped in 2016, but they came back to 6-4 and 8-4 in 2017 and 2018, which turned out to be Lara’s final two seasons at the school.
Beginning in 2019, when Kevin Pearson moved in to take over the program after he had won nearly 200 games at Cathedral of Los Angeles, the Bears have only continued to build momentum. Kevin’s brother, Scott, also has been the baseball coach at Warren and recently completed his 10th season there.
It was a strange pandemic season in the spring of 2021, but Warren’s 5-0 record still counts as the school’s first-ever unbeaten season. The team then got out to its 8-0 start last fall and could potentially have its best team ever this season.
Here are some other Warren High football records that the school now has in its possession courtesy of this archive initiative:
WIN-LOSS RECORDS FOR EACH DECADE
REPORTED ALL-TIME RECORD HEADING INTO 2022 SEASON:
313 WINS, 328 LOSSES, 9 TIES*
*Note: No forfeits included (wins or losses), but games were not played during 2021 season.
48.9 ALL-TIME WINNING PERCENTAGE
(Based on half-win, half-loss for tie)
Best Records For Single Season
5-0 – 2021 Spring
11-1 – 1968
8-1 – 2021 Fall
10-2 – 2009
Worst Records For Single Season
0-10 – 1985
0-10 – 2012
0-10 – 2013
0-9 – 1971
Records Against Notable Opponents
35-29 VS. Downey
32-27 VS. Lynwood
31-27 VS. Paramount
23-32-1 VS. Dominguez (Compton)
Notes: There was a stretch of games vs arch-rival Downey in the late 1960s into the 1970s in which Warren won 16 times in 17 years. Current seven-game win streak vs. Lynwood enabled the Bears to go from trailing to the Knights in all-time results into a five-game lead.
Most Points Scored (Single Game)
66 VS. Firebaugh (Lynwood) 2015
61 VS. Bassett (La Verne) 1995
61 VS. Lynwood 2021 Fall
60 VS. Pius X (Downey) 1989
59 VS. Huntington Park 2018
Most Lopsided Wins
66-0 VS. Firebaugh (Lynwood) 2015
61-0 VS. Bassett (La Verne) 1995
61-0 VS. Lynwood 2021 Fall
59-0 VS. Huntington Park 2018
56-0 VS. Lynwood 2018
Most Points Allowed (Single Game)
70 VS. Dominguez (Compton) 2013
67 VS. Lakewood 2004
60 VS. Downey 2013
57 VS. Lynwood 2002
56 VS. Dominguez (Compton) 2005
56 VS. Culver City 2019
56 VS. La Serna (Whittier) 2019
Most Lopsided Losses
70-0 VS. Dominguez (Compton) 2013
67-0 VS. Lakewood 2004
60-0 VS. Downey 2013
51-0 VS. Tustin 2004
57-7 VS. Lynwood 2002
Longest Winning Streaks
13 – 1977-78 (won last two games in 1977, then first 11 in 1978 until CIFSS playoff loss)
13 – 2021 Spring-2021 Fall (won all five games in pandemic spring season, then 8-0 to start in the fall until loss in CIFSS playoffs)
Longest Losing Streaks
24 – 2011-2014 (lost last two in 2011, then 0-10 in 2012, then 0-10 in 2013, then first two in 2014)
12 – 1970-1972 (lost last game in 1970, then 0-9, then lost first two in 1972)
12 – 1984-1986 (lost last game in 1984, then 0-10, then lost first game in 1986)
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