Varsity Football Focuses on Fundamentals


David Li

Varsity Football in a game against Taft during a previous season.

After a bounce-back season last year, the Boys Varsity Football faced a challenge this fall. Due to COVID-19-related restrictions, especially on high-contact sports such as football, the team held modified practices. “It was unlike anything we have ever experienced,” said Head Coach Danny Smith. “I have been completely amazed and stunned by how well the kids have adjusted and have been optimistic, energetic, and supportive of each other.”

For the first two weeks of practice, the team held practices focused on fundamentals and footwork, which closely resembled the NFL Combine. The team was also able to work on tackling drills, agility, ball skills, and run routes against each other. Additionally, the team trained in the weight room together once a week. 

Mr. Smith credited much of the team’s success this season to the leadership of the team captains and Seniors, including three new post-graduates (PGs): Ruben Valenzuela ’21, Luke Stennett ’21, and Jonah Thomas ’21. “The [PGs] are really hard workers, very positive, and really good teammates. They have set a really strong example,” said Coach Smith. 

The strides taken by the Preps has also lit a fuse within the team. Coach Smith credited their dramatic improvement to their hard work, which has “brought the level of play up considerably.” 

The team held optional throwing days each week. Vashel noted, “The Preps are always there. It’s not easy waking up on Sunday morning and going to that. I can’t say enough for what the Preps have done. I’m so proud of them.”