Many students have less than positive memories of the football season last year, when the team lost every single league game.
Things have changed—this year the school’s varsity football team is looking the best it has in years. Between the new coaching staff, more focused practices and returning veteran players, the varsity football team has posted an impressive record of 6-1 thus far—among these, a win over rival Mountain View. The team is currently chasing a CCS playoff spot, its 0-10 overall record from last year left in the dust.
What propelled this drastic turnaround?
Changes in the program can be attributed to the man at the head of it all: Head Coach Trevor Pruitt. Pruitt, who worked with Mountain View’s football program for six years, was looking to take on a head coach position when the position at Los Altos opened up. Pruitt applied, presented the school with a detailed plan for turning the program around and was accepted. Along with Pruitt came a new coaching staff that has brought more intensity to the program.
“The coaching staff brings a lot of great energy and good vibes to the team,” quarterback senior Lambie Lanman said. “It has been encouraging for everyone to work harder, to build to something.”
But it’s not just the coaching staff themselves that have made a difference; it’s also the new approach to coaching that the staff have adopted. The coaches’ attention has been on promoting consistency and focus across all aspects of the team.
“As far as the focus goes, we really like to talk to the team before we even go out, we sit them down and we like to make sure the message is spread around,” Pruitt said. “[For example], we tell them we need to block and tackle better. We have to send it every day, before practice, before we even walk outside.”
The focus the coaches bring to the locker room and field has made the practices much more efficient and productive this year.
“Our practices are more individually focused, so everyone is getting better instead of people standing around,” junior Patrick McColl said. “You are always working, which is great.”
Pruitt has ensured that all the coaches are on the same page, maintaining clear expectations and rules for the team.
“All of the assistant coaches are huge to what we’re doing,” Pruitt said. “As a coaching staff, we’ve been working to make sure we’re sending no mixed messages to the kids…everyone is on the same playing field.”
This kind of consistency from the coaching staff, combined with the increased energy in the program, has brought the team together and eliminated all distractions from winning.
“The coaches want to win really badly, and you can tell they are working their hardest—it really shows and motivates the team,” Patrick said.
The team is looking to take the season game by game, and has high hopes for the rest of the year.
“We want to stay concentrated on this year, hopefully make the playoffs and fight for a CCS championship,” Pruitt said.