From diamond to stadium: Mendoza takes title as Head Coach
August 22, 2012
Emma Redick | Sports Editor | August 22, 2012
The Dos Pueblos football team was thrown a curve ball as their new head coach moved from the Scott O’leary dugout to the Scott O’leary stadium.
Former head baseball coach Nate Mendoza stepped in as head football coach in place of eleven-year coach Jeff Uyesaka. The change-up was announced this past spring after Mendoza led the baseball team to a Channel League title.
“My decision probably surprised a lot of people,” said Mendoza. “[but] I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity and just go for it.”
Although the football team finished with a 3-8 record, the Chargers got a taste of victory and defeat as they were crowned the 2012 City Champions, but were unable to defeat Ventura for the Channel League title.
Despite the mixed results of last season, Mendoza intends to focus on the upcoming season and bring his strongest element to the game of football: defense.
“I pride myself in great defense,” Mendoza said, and the Chargers will be able to deliver just that. Middle-backer Nico Bornand and defensive end Jason Schwartz, both who won first team All-League awards last year, will contribute considerably to defending the title of City Champions and to gaining the title of League Champions.
Senior safety Jordan Degraffinreid believes Mendoza can lead Chargers to victory.
“He has pushed us harder than most of us have been pushed before,” said Degraffinreid. “And that has made us determined to win league.”
Mendoza, like every coach, has a desire to win and create a winning program. However, Mendoza has a desire to see individual player success above scoreboard success.
“If we are competing in practice every day, that’s all I can ask from them,” Mendoza said in a previous Charger Account interview. “I’m not going to say we’re going to win every game, I just expect the team to compete as hard as they can in every game.”
With the first game against Santa Ynez this Friday, August 24, the Chargers are ready to put not only their summer practices to the test, but also to see if Coach Mendoza can lead them to Channel League victory just as he did with baseball.
2012 Varsity Football Schedule
Friday, August 24 Santa Ynez 7:00pm (Home)
Friday, August 31 San Luis Obispo 7:00pm (Away)
Friday, September 7 Cabrillo 7:00pm (Away)
Friday, September 14 Lompoc 7:00pm (Home)
Friday, September 21 Rio Mesa 7:00pm (Home)
Friday, September 28 San Juan Hills 7:00pm (Away)
Friday, October 5 San Marcos 7:00pm (Away)
Friday, October 12 Ventura 7:00pm (Away)
Friday, October 26 Buena 7:00pm (Home)
Friday, November 2 Santa Barbara 7:00pm (Home)