During a summer practice, Central Valley coach Scott Edwards was having a conversation with his new defensive coordinator, former Modesto Christian head coach, Mike Parsons.
“We need to be able to harness these guys emotionally and let them go physically,” he said.
Central Valley is coming off of a 2-8 season and while they return several starters, including senior quarterback Andrew Hernandez (1,393 yards, 12 touchdowns) and junior running back Isaiah Hidalgo (1,624 all-purpose yards, 10 touchdowns), Edwards said his team needs to mature in order to be successful.
“They need to develop and have unselfish play,” said Edwards, who is entering his sixth year as coach. “They can’t put their individual needs above the team.”
Edwards said his team struggled with unsportsmanlike penalties and had a few games with ejections last year.
Despite going 1-3 in the final four weeks, Edwards said the Hawks played their best football of the season during the month. Hernandez threw seven touchdowns in last four games and Hidalgo ended the season with a career-high 194 yards against El Capitan.
Edwards said he has known the former MC coach since 2006, when he was at Bret Harte.
“We have a lot of experience between us (close to 40 years between the two),” Edwards said. “We have very different yet very similar backgrounds.”
Edwards is more of an offensive coach while Parsons coaches the defensive side, mainly the defensive line.
Some other players Edwards said will contribute include senior wide receiver Erick Martinez-Stucchi and senior fullback Christopher Simental, who is the vocal leader of the team.
In their first year in the Central California Conference last year, one of the big changes for the Hawks was the move of the annual rivalry against Ceres from Week 10 to Week 1.
Edwards said while the game still holds “some weight” between the two schools for bragging rights, his team struggled to focus for a couple of weeks after beating the Bulldogs.
The schools play in Week 1 on Aug. 23.
School: Central Valley
Record: 2-8, 1-5 in Central California Conference
Players to Watch: Senior quarterback Andrew Hernandez (1,393 yards, 12 touchdowns), senior wide receiver Erick Martinez-Stucchi (29 receptions, 467 yards, 3 touchdowns), junior running back Isaiah Hidalgo (1,624 all-purpose yards, 10 touchdowns)
Biggest Game: August 30 vs. Sierra
Something special about school: School has a good drum line. At the snack bar, sausage, tri-tip, and fresh tacos all popular.
Playoff appearances last five years: 2018: None 2017: None 2016: Lost to Antelope in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II First Round 2015: Lost to Manteca in Div. III First Round 2014: None
|23||at Ceres||7 p.m.|
|13||at Enochs||7 p.m.|
|20||at Merced||7 p.m.|
|4||Golden Valley||7 p.m.|
|11||at Patterson||7 p.m.|
|18||Buhach Colony||7 p.m.|
|25||at El Capitan||7 p.m.|