Ugalde wants CIF ring

Every time Andy Ugalde walks into the Estancia High team room, he sees a poster on the right side. The poster is a scouting report on the next opponent.

The current report differs from the past dozen this football season.

Six photos of standout Beckman players Ugalde and the Eagles will face Friday night are on display. What stands out more to Ugalde is a ring on the poster.

Coach Mike Bargas said his younger brother, Chris, an assistant coach, designed the ring.

"I don't know if he went to the Jostens website," Bargas said.

What Bargas does know is that Ugalde and the rest of his Eagles want that ring.

Ugalde suggested a change or two to the design. Ugalde, who enjoys a computer graphics class at school, offered ways to enhance the ring.

"I don't know what this means," said Ugalde, referring to the words "Back to Back" on one side of the ring. "I'd just put 'CIF Champions 2011' and [put] like a fat rock right there [in the middle].

"I think we will [get the ring]. That's what we're going for."

Ugalde and the Eagles are one win away from getting a chance to play for a CIF Southern Section title ring. The senior is a big reason as to why Estancia is in position to make history at home.

When the Eagles (10-2) step on the field, they will be the first Estancia team to make a semifinal appearance in the playoffs.

"It feels good," Ugalde said of going into the Southern Division semifinal contest against top-seeded Beckman (10-2). "At the same time, you don't what to expect. You're nervous because anything can happen. We're just preparing ourselves like we usually do and going all out."

Ugalde is the epitome of a player who never stops going hard, whether in practice or in a game. Bargas said Ugalde is one of two players at Estancia who fit that description.

"Courage. Power. Strength," Bargas said Ugalde, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound defensive end, has it all. "He's a playmaker, too."

Ugalde leads the team with 98 tackles and 13 sacks, the last stat ties him for the area’s best mark with Corona del Mar’s Aaron White.

But going back to last week's quarterfinal road game against Woodbridge, a bigger offensive lineman kept Ugalde off the quarterback for most of the game. For the first 44 minutes, Ugalde totaled zero sacks.

He stuffed the running back for losses or no gain four times, never the quarterback. Then in the next two minutes, Ugalde made his mark late in the game when the Eagles needed the defense to make plays.

Estancia was hanging to a 10-7 lead. Ugalde secured the game with back-to-back sacks. The move he used was his signature one, a bull rush, followed by a rip through the tackle to drop the quarterback.

The first sack resulted in a three-yard loss. The second sack forced a fumble and a 16-yard loss. Woodbridge was on its own 12 with about three minutes left.

"That's the hardest part being an offensive coordinator, figuring out what's your third-and-[29] play," Bargas said.

The Warriors' best play was to air it out and hope a receiver came down with the ball near midfield. It

Sho Watanabe intercepted the pass. The cornerback can thank Ugalde and the rest of the line for applying pressure on the quarterback.

Ugalde is the one who comes off the edge, but Alipa Peters and his brother, Kevin, clog up the middle, while end Gabriel Carpio contains the outside. The defensive line is the best in Bargas' five years at Estancia.

"I kind of did a swing shift at Newport Harbor and these [linemen] are comparable," said Bargas, a former assistant with the Sailors. "They're no different than the kids we used to get at Newport Harbor."

What's missing at Estancia is a section title, which Bargas won at Newport Harbor three times. Ugalde is trying to help Bargas bring one to Estancia for the first time.

"That would be the ultimate if we could get that opportunity," Bargas said.


Andy Ugalde

Born: July 8, 1994

Hometown: Costa Mesa

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 190 pounds

Sport: Football

Position: Defensive end

Coach: Mike Bargas

Favorite food: Spaghetti

Favorite movie: "Four Brothers"

Favorite athletic moment: "Making it to the [semifinals] of CIF."

Week in review: Ugalde recorded two sacks, seven tackles and forced a fumble in helping Estancia beat Woodbridge, 10-7, and reach the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs, the school's first semis appearance.

Twitter: @DCPenaloza

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