CLOSER LOOK: Arlington’s Ray Warhop

Take a closer look at Riverside Arlington senior Ray Warhop and you’ll see a born leader. 

Warhop had 36 carries for 224 yards and two touchdowns as the Lions (6-8 overall) shut out Montclair, 23-0, on Friday, Nov. 26, to win the CIF-Southern Section Division 13 championship game.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound tailback fumbled on his second touch but rolled off runs of 36 and 40 yards, and powered across the goal line from 8 and 10 yards, respectively, to help secure Arlington’s first CIF-SS football title since 1990.

Warhop’s totals in the semifinal and final – 500-plus rushing yards and four touchdowns – are marks that will live with the Arlington program for generations.

We caught up with Warhop after the win over Montclair. He was in total command.

InlandFieldhouse.com: Everyone expected a good game but not a shutout. How did this just happen? 
Ray Warhop: “It is what it is. We kept playing our football, physical football, and we just got the job done on both sides of the ball.”

IF: This team started the season 0-and-7 and now you’ve won a CIF-SS title. How does that sound to you?
RW: “I can’t even describe it to you. It was just 10 of us during the summer till Coach (Argumosa) got here a month-and-a-half before the first game, and from there we just started grinding from nothing. And we got here.”

IF: So much changed since the spring season. What was the biggest difference maker?
RW: “It wasn’t just the coach, though. The players, we all came together and started believing. This is what happened.”

IF: Did the 10-0 win over Hillcrest in Week 8 change everything?  
RW: “Yup. We just had to find ourselves because we were running spread and that wasn’t working, so we went to I-formation and we just kept running it.”

IF: We expected Christian Bozeman to be the starting tailback but it was you earning the touch carries down the stretch. How did you do it?
RW: “I just grinded (and) earned a spot. Staying humble and just doing me, grinding, that’s it.”

IF: Now you’re just two more wins away from a state title. What do you think about that?
RW: “I think we can do it. Looking at the score right here – to me I think we can win state. We can do anything.”

IF: Have you been able to think about football after high school?
RW: “I’ve been considering it. I’m not completely sure on my choice yet, but I’m thinking about it.”

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