High School Football

Pitman has plenty of new, strong leadership. Can the Pride compete in the tough CCAL?

Lance Weckerle is excited for Pitman’s scrimmage against Hilmar next week.

Weckerle, who is beginning his first year as coach of the Pride, takes over for a team that went 10-2 in 2018 but returns only six starters.

Pitman has only played against itself all summer and the scrimmage against the defending CIF State Division 6-AA Champions on Aug. 16 will be a great test for the Pride.

“We will know after next week how we are,” Weckerle said. “We are practicing with a purpose during every rep and we aren’t going to let the score during games dictate how we are going to play.”

Pitman will still use the Wing-T formation on offense but will add a spread angle to “keep defenses guessing” Weckerle said.

The two quarterbacks who are battling to replace Treyton Fair, who broke Colin Kaepernick’s single-game passing yardage record last year, are junior Landyn Magina and sophomore Anthony Manzo.

Magina is more of a passer and Moanzo is the runner and Weckerle, who coached quarterbacks and wide receivers for the Pride for the last three years, said there is strong possibility both will be on the field during the season.

Some of the key returners for the Pride are junior lineman Juan Mora (one sack), senior lineman Matthew Nissan (three sacks), and senior tight end/defensive back Julian Lindo (four rushing touchdowns).

“They are all hard workers and Mora, Nissan, and Bravo (senior lineman Mario Bravo) will be our captains,” Weckerle said.

Since he started as a coach on campus in 2016, Weckerle said he always wanted to be a coach of a big-time program.

“It has been amazing and a dream come true,” he said. “It’s hard not to come to work with a smile always on my face.”


School: Pitman

Record: 10-2, 4-1 in Central California Athletic League

Players to Watch: Junior lineman Juan Mora, Senior tight end/defensive back Jullien Lindo, Senior lineman Matthew Nissan

Biggest Game: Nov. 1 at Turlock

Something special about school: 34 Pride football players made Academic All-CCAL last year.

Playoff appearances last five years: 2018: Lost to Monterey Trail in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Quarterfinals 2017: None 2016: Lost to St. Mary’s in Div. I Quarterfinals 2015: Lost to Del Campo in Div. I First Round 2014: Lost to Napa in Div. I First Round

Season Schedule:






at Clovis North

7 p.m.



7 p.m.



Bye Week


at Bullard

7 p.m.


at Monterey

7 p.m.


Marin Catholic

7 p.m.




7 p.m.


at Gregori

7 p.m.



7 p.m.



7 p.m.



at Turlock

7 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.