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Titans Win Game for the Ages On Final Play

Photo courtesy Scott Daves
Harry Wendling, San Marino High School’s senior kicker, surfs an impromptu wave provided by his Titan teammates moments after converting a 37-yard field goal to defeat rival South Pasadena on the final play of last Friday night’s Rio Hondo League contest. San Marino’s furious rally in the final minute gave the Titans a 22-20 win and 10th straight over the Tigers in the 66th renewal of the storied rivalry.

Last Friday night at 9:45 p.m., a young man wearing a royal blue football jersey with the words San Marino emblazoned across the chest atop an oversized number 19 trotted onto the field at Titan Stadium.
He had accepted the task of kicking a football through an odd-shaped apparatus that most would recognize as a goal post at the east end of the facility in an effort to win a game over the town’s foe in a rivalry that stretches back to the Eisenhower administration.
Anyone seeking the identity of the young man would be hard-pressed as neither his name nor number appeared on the roster provided in the official game program sold at the venue.
They know it now, especially those from South Pasadena who watched the annual contest. And just in case they didn’t, players, fans and cheerleaders provided a reminder that rang into the chilly, damp night.
“Harry!” “Harry!” “Harry!”
He has a last name, too, and for the record it’s Wendling. But he will forever be known as the boy who kicked a field goal as time expired to tame the Tigers in the 66th renewal of the battle for the Crowley Cup.

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Now in his 25th year at The Tribune, Mitch Lehman is Editor and Sports Editor in addition to being the public address announcer for ten sports programs at San Marino High School. Mitch is one of only a handful in the community to receive the ‘Very Special Person Award’ from the San Marino PTA at the annual Founder’s Day ceremony, was acknowledged as a 'Terrific Titan' by the San Marino High School PTSA, was named an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of San Marino and received a National Honorary Merit Badge in Journalism from the Boy Scouts of America. He has received two independent Pulitzer Prize nominations and in the past three years, Mitch has won seven awards and is a thirteen-time finalist in the California News Publishers Association's Better Newspapers Contest. In 2015, the press box at Titan Stadium was re-named 'Lehman's Loft' in his honor. You can reach Mitch at mitchlehman@sanmarinotribune.com.

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