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Vaqueros football starts season with dramatic, emotional win

Vaqueros football starts season with dramatic, emotional win

It’s the beginning of a new era for the Vaqueros football team. With only two returning coaches, the team is hopeful a new staff will fuel a winning season.

The Vaqueros started with a dramatic 15-14 win against Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria Saturday, Sept. 7. This is the first time in 21 years that City College has put down Hancock.

“I think we were in better condition than Hancock was Saturday and hopefully we can continue that,” said Head Coach Craig Moropoulos.

“I’m pleased with the outcome of the first game,” said Moropoulos. “It really revealed the character of our team and that’s so much more important than what the stats were or the touchdowns.”

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“Just the way the game progressed and our guys never gave up and they just hung on and finished at the end. It was very rewarding at the end.”

With a win under their belt and an incredible coaching line up, the Vaqueros are ready to take on the season. The new staff includes former NFL talents Don Willis and Sheldon Canley.

Willis played eight NFL seasons as an offensive guard from 1995-2004 starting with the Seattle Seahawks and ending with the Kansas City Chiefs. From ’95-’97 he played for the New Orleans Saints. Willis is the offensive line and run game coach for the Vaqueros this year.

“It’s obviously immediate credibility in the eyes of student athletes because of the level they played at,” said Moropoulos. “It really revolves more about the interactions and the day to day interactions with the students. Most of our guys do a very, very good job of that.”

Along with Willis, Canley joins the Vaqueros as the running backs coach. Canley played running back two NFL seasons in 1991 and ’92 with the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets.

Returning coaches, Moroupolos and Jeff Santarosa, will be working with an experienced staff this season. The other new coaches are Kevin Almlie (Def. Coordinator), Rob Adan (Special Teams), Logan Hurn (Strength Conditioning), James Pearlstone (Wide Receivers), Chad Quirarte and Zack Zimmerman (Defensive Assistants).

The team is handling the change in coaching very well as they begin the season.

“Last season we were very undisciplined,” said Jarred Evans, quarterback. “The coaches this year are very experienced and disciplined. They put us to work and they know what they’re talking about.”

Evans (8) is the Vaqueros starting QB for his second season. He was named 2nd team All Conference in 2012 with 20 touchdowns (12 pass, 8 rush).

The Vaqueros defense is looking strong with linebacker Morgan Nevin (33) who led Southern California in tackles with an average of 11.8 per game and was named Defensive MVP of the 2012 season.

“We need to focus day to day and game to game and not get too carried away with what’s in the future because that can kind of overwhelm you,” said Moropoulos. “We’re just focused on this next game. It’s a huge game, our home opener, so we’re really excited about that.”

The Vaqueros are working up to a successful season. They will play the home opener this Saturday, Sept. 14 against East L.A. at 1 p.m. in La Playa Stadium.

Click here to read more stories about the 2013 football team by the SBCC Athletic Department

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