Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

Football Season Retrospect

Scripting History with an Undefeated Championship Run
LB Micah Bueno Jr hoists the Championship Trophy

The Foothill Owls have made history once again, achieving their first undefeated 11-0 season since the inception of the Football program while clinching the NSFC Division Bowl Championship. Though the team has had huge success in the past, what set this undefeated season apart was the perfect storm of exceptional talent, diverse leadership, and a unique cultural DNA. 

There are a number of statistics that further reflect our absolute dominance this year. For example, the smothering defense, headed by Defensive Coordinator Brandon Younger, was #1 in the country in four different categories this season (PPG-8.5, YPG-134.6, Pass Y/G- 112.1, Rush Y/G- 22.5). The Foothill offense headed by Coordinator Kenny Coleman gained 1949 passing yards. This aerial assault was led by star Quarterback Shamir Bey and amazing Wide Receivers like Jaquon Brackenridge and Johnnie Barbie, Foothill had the 3rd most yards gained on the ground with 2787. Regardless of the category, the Owls showed dominance. 

Obviously, without good players, you can’t have a good football team. Luckily for us, we had talent all over the field, and depth at key positions as well. In addition to the League Offensive (Left Tackle, Hingano Hautau) and Defensive (Linebacker, Micah Bueno) MVP’s, we had 13 Owls receive All-League selections in a plethora of positions. The outward awards and recognition reflect the inner drive and passion that each of these athletes displayed week in and week out. Even with the vast amount of talent, the shared purpose and vision resulted in more harmony amongst brothers than clashing of egos.

Talent is undoubtedly important, but leadership and utilization of that talent is essential. Coach Younger explains, “We have some great leaders… for one, our coaching staff… they all work really hard, and we speak the same language in regards to the philosophy we want to play with.” The comradery and cohesiveness within the coaching staff definitely trickles down, with unit leadership on offense and defense inspired by their example. 

When asked to give specific players that acted as great leaders on the team, the list was extensive, and the leadership styles varied, from outspoken guys to guys who lead by example. Some standout examples include Left Tackle Hingano Hautau, Linebacker Micah Bueno, Running Back Nate Williams, and Wide Receiver Jaquan Breckenridge. Their qualities in different positions ensured a strong leadership presence all around the field, and accountability for their teammates.

The success of our Owls is deeply rooted in a culture that Defensive Coordinator Brandon Younger aptly describes as the “DNA of our program”. Every college has its distinct culture, and ours is characterized by values such as honesty, accountability, excellence, and relentless effort and passion. Striving for and cultivating these qualities not only sets our team apart but also serves as an inspiration for everyone associated with our program.

Winning an individual game may be achievable, but what truly distinguishes champions is the day-to-day grind—both physically and mentally. As Coach Younger aptly puts it, “The football season is mentally hard on the players; it’s challenging when every week, you gotta do it again. You gotta do it again and again.” The players in leadership roles set an exemplary standard for their teammates, and the coaches’ strategies help maintain focus on the moment and the goals that lie ahead.

The program not only encourages excellence on the field but also in the classroom. The mantras “we just don’t accept anything mediocre” and “get grades, make plays” resonate through the entire football program. It’s been two years since a player at Foothill College was academically ineligible to play football—an impressive testament to our commitment to balancing studies and on-field achievement.

Foothill’s Coaching Staff at the team’s postseason banquet

The passion with which our players compete and the coaching staff’s dedication elevate our school to the next level. Making the most of every play, both during games and practices, is a central tenet in Foothill’s culture. Regardless of the time spent on the field, every single player has a profound impact. Brandon Younger emphasizes this philosophy, saying, “You may not get 100 plays this game; you may get 5. Make those 5 plays your best plays.” This philosophy clearly paid off in key moments, contributing to the team’s perfect season despite facing rough patches.

In summary, the culture at Foothill College is a driving force behind the team’s success. The emphasis on excellence, both on and off the field, creates a unique environment where each player’s contribution is valued. This perfect blend of culture, dedication, and resilience played a pivotal role in achieving an undefeated season.

The football team has been a family affair for a long time, with hand-picked Foothill alumni assuming the head coach mantle since the mid 90’s. According to Head Coach Matt Raivio, “[our success] is a product of developing not just playing talent, but coaching talent as well”. A large part of that development happens off the field around the dinner table at home. When asked what his family had taught him about football, Head Coach Matt Raivio had one virtue. “Patience, patience, and more patience. Mistakes are going to continually be made. As long as you’re willing to continue to work and continue to progress and try to become a better kid, person, man, then you’re worth investing in”. 

This investment in Foothill’s developing young men also extends further than the field of play, into the classroom and beyond. The coaches are there for current and former football players alike, with their doors open for assistance with the game of life. Though it’s a sport, the development of character and fostering of strong bonds cannot be overstated. Offensive Coordinator Kenny Coleman fondly said, “When you’re a family, it’s forever. There’s gonna be really hard times, difficult conversations, tension, but you gotta find a way to work through that…Family is for the long haul, it’s not a fad.” Undoubtedly, this accomplishment and memory will not fade with this family staying supportive. After all, in good families, “When things get tough, we don’t go apart, we come together,” concluded Brandon Younger.

As Coach Raivo said, “It takes a lot more than a football staff and football players to have this kind of a season”. Some particular shoutouts the coaches wanted to mention were the administration, notably the Athletic Director Mike Teijeiro and our president Kristina Whalen, the supportive fanbase made up of friends, family of coaches and players, plus many others, and the dedicated sports medicine staff keeping the players healthy. 

For those who missed this undefeated season, don’t worry! Next year’s games promise excitement as returning stars and future talents gear up to defend Loop Road and uphold the legacy of the Foothill College Owls. Come out and support us to help us keep the streak alive!

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About the Contributor
CJ Toledo, Editor-in-Chief
CJ Toledo is a first-year at Foothill College, double majoring in psychology and philosophy. Always passionate about speaking truth to power, joining the journalism club in school was the next logical step. He hopes to spread a bit of positivity, and awareness in a medium that has been lacking in attention: Newspapers. He also enjoys painting, parkour, and community building. Some other projects besides The Script that he’s involved in include the Stanford Painting Initiative and Spider Parkour.

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