The Mission High School football team will play for the San Francisco section title this Friday at 5 p.m. against undefeated Lincoln. Despite their 6-4 record — including a prior 29-15 loss to the Mustangs on Oct. 12 — the Mission Bears are confident they will come out with the victory at Kezar Stadium.

"Our record says we're not supposed to be here," said first-year coach Tobias Whitley, who was able to lead the team this far despite actually having to forfeit the opening game due to a lack of players. "But we've been building up to this moment. We don't care about being undefeated in the regular season, but in the playoff season."

An admirer of Lincoln's discipline on the field, Whitley will bet on a straightforward game by his Bears, "without many gimmicks," and keeping turnovers to a minimum.

Listen more from the coach here, and meet the players below.

Jelani Al-Malik  #4

Age: 17
Senior
Position: RB/DB
5’8 – 160 lb

“I play football because it’s what I love. My motivation is my family and having a better life for myself.”

Julian Milton #6

Age: 17
Junior
Position: WR/DB
5’8 – 150 lb

“I play football because my dad inspired it to me. When I was a little kid, he was passing the ball to me. My mom motivates me, because we don’t really have everything, so I want to go to college and make it out for her.”

McKinley Oliver  #7

Age: 17
Senior
Position: QB/DB
5’11 – 175 lb

“I grew up playing it, it’s the sport of the family. It’s something in me just telling me to keep going. It’s the tangibility of going to college.”

Jamariea Burroughs  #8

Age: 16
Junior
Position: QB/DB
5’9 – 165 lb

“I play because of the relationship with my teammates. Forever brotherhood.”

Emare Sumpter  #9

Age: 16
Junior
Position: WR/DB
5’10 – 160 lb

“I like the sport. I just want to get better.”

Demarr Simmons  #10

Age: 18
Senior
Position: WR/DB
5’10 – 150 lb

“I play football just so I can keep my mind on the right track. What motivates me is having something to do, to keep my grades up after football season.”

Rasheed Loveless  #11

Age: 16
Junior
Position: WR/DB
5’9 – 145 lb

“I play because I feel like it’s some time off the streets so I don’t do anything bad. What motivates me right now is our championship run. And my mom, I want to give a big house to my mother.”

JT Howells  #15

Age: 16
Junior
Position: TE/LB
6’2 – 175 lb

“I play football because I’ve been playing since a young age.”

Matthew Cohn  #20

Age: 15
Sophomore
Position: WR/LB
6’1 – 185 lb

“I do it for my dad. His dream was to become an NFL player so I’m trying to carry on his dream.”

Isreal Laviene  #21

Age: 15
Sophomore
Position: WR/DB
5’9 – 155 lb

“I play ’cause I love it. Waking up and going to practice with my brothers motivates me every day.”

Jaleel Bender #24

Age: 17
Senior
Position: RB/LB
5’11 – 195 lb

“I play because I love the sport and it’s a good thing to do. I just take out my anger on the field.”

Roland Herrera #32

Age: 15
Sophomore
Position: FS
5’8 – 140 lb

“It is fun to be on a team, it motivates me. Just playing for a championship as a sophomore, and my family.”

Edward Humphrey #50

Age: 16
Junior
Position: OL/DL
6’0 – 200 lb

“I like strategic games, and football for me is like chess. My mom has cancer right now, so I’m playing for her, and for my brother, who works for Muni and loves football.”

Benjamin Bennett #51

Age: 17
Senior
Position: OL/DL
5’11 – 220 lb

“I play football because of the brotherhood that I get from it. What motivates me is my little brothers, my older brothers, all of them. Every single last person on my team. I gotta get better than them. I gotta be better for them.”

Zeke Bellino  #52

Age: 17
Senior
Position: OT/DL
6’0 – 200 lb

“I played football since I was younger, so it’s really all I know. I just want to be the best player I can be and the best person I can be.”

Tony Inson  #55

Age: 17
Senior
Position: OL/DL
5’9 – 205 lb

“I play because I love the sport, just love to play. My team really motivates me in every play.”

Omari Whiters  #57

Age: 17
Senior
Position: C/DL
6’1 – 235 lb

“[I play] because it keeps me out of trouble and it’s a positive thing to do.”

Igorfer Velasquez  #65

Age: 16
Junior
Position: OL/DL
6’0 – 235 lb

“I kinda like it. I love it, actually, it’s my favorite sport. Right now, I’m doing it for myself, just doing the things I love.”