High School Football

Gregori wants to show last year was a fluke – and send a message to all the doubters

They are bitter. They said there are plenty of doubters out there.

For the Gregori football team, the 2019 season can’t come soon enough.

“We want to prove to everyone we can play in this league and can compete and win,” senior quarterback Baker Melendez said.

Gregori wants to return to where they were the previous two years, when they won 18 games, including a Modesto Metro Conference title in 2017.

To have success in the Central California Athletic League, Melendez organized player-run workouts during the dead period, when he worked with wide receivers on routes and the group spent time in the gym lifting weights.

“We wanted to prove to coaches we can play up to our name,” he said.

Jason McCoy stepped down in November after seven seasons as the Jaguars coach and defensive/special teams coordinator Lamar Wallace begins his first year at the helm.

Wallace, who said he is the last remaining coach from the school’s first staff in 2011, said the team is very coachable and they have a chip on their shoulder.

“They are very committed and have been working hard since January,” Wallace said. “They come out here and compete every day and make each other better.”

Gregori’s team chemistry was a little divided last year, Wallace said, but they have senior leadership and a great junior class.

Besides Melendez, the Jaguars return senior running back Titus Rhiney, senior offensive lineman Ralph Cordaway and junior running back Isaac Herman.

Two notable transfers for the Jaguars are senior wide receiver/safety Mario Hernandez (Modesto Christian) and senior athlete Ty Streeter (Central Catholic).

Hernandez had 47 tackles and three interceptions while Streeter had five rushing touchdowns.

Wallace said he is unsure regarding the status of both and there is a possibility they might have to sit out five games due to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section transfer rule.

Melendez said he expects nothing but success for the offense that averaged over 30 points per game in 2018.

“We are much more of a brotherhood,” Melendez said. “We are going out to eat together and I am stepping up and becoming more of a leader.”


School: Gregori

Record: 5-6, 2-3 in Central California Athletic League

Players to Watch: Senior quarterback Baker Melendez, senior running back Titus Rhiney, Senior lineman Ralph Cordaway

Biggest Game: Oct. 25 vs. Turlock

Something special about school: Fireworks at home games. Student section called “The Spot” is one of the best in the area.

Playoff appearances last five years: 2018: Lost to Edison in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I First Round 2017: Lost to Oak Ridge in Div. I Quarterfinals 2016: Lost to Elk Grove in Div. I First Round 2015: Lost to Elk Grove in Div. I First Round 2014: Lost to Jesuit in Div. I First Round

Season Schedule:


23Buhach Colony 7 p.m.
30Merced7 p.m.

6at Beyer7 p.m.
13at McNair7:30 p.m.
20Livermore7:15 p.m.
27Bye Week


4at Modesto7:30 p.m.
11at Pitman7 p.m.
18at Downey7 p.m.
25Turlock7 p.m.

1Enochs7:30 p.m.
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Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.