Covering High School Sports in America
James Swain finally has a winning percentage after six long years.

Photo by Leland Gordon

James Swain, Hawthorne

The Hawthorne (Calif.) head coach did something Friday night he had never done: Win a varsity football game. And his plan to celebrate today?

"I'm gonna go watch UCLA beat Nebraska."

Swain ended what has to be one of the sport's most interesting streaks with a 31-14 victory over Animo South Los Angeles on Hawthorne's home field. After four straight 0-10 seasons between 2006 and 2009, Swain gave way to another coach, but he's back on the sidelines at the school just east of Los Angeles International Airport.

By our coach history records, Swain waded through 42 consecutive losses before Friday's victory. The exact number might be different, as a feature in the LA Daily News said this season began his fourth stint as head coach. Regardless, it's a significant achievement for a man who has spent almost a half-decade chasing a 'W' for his school.

"It's good to get a win, man, good to see. It finally happened," he said. "We put it all together. I got a little tight, I had to loosen up and just say 'Let's play football.'"

The maiden victory almost happened last week, but Hawthorne lost 13-12 to local rival Lawndale (Calif.).