Monday, September 16, 2013

A Visitor from France, the Agoura JV Game and a 30 Year Westlake H.S. Reunion

This past week was a good one to be sure.

It started off with a good week of practice for our Newbury Park H.S. JV squad and was highlighted by the arrival of an ami from Aix-en-Provence, France.

Coach Gabriel Maginier
of the Aix-en-Provence Argonautes

In this photo, he is about to devour a Big Daddy Burger at Cronies Sports Grill in Newbury Park.

I first met Gabriel last spring on a Travel Friday to his beautiful town in the South of France during a lunch set up by our mutual friend, Olivier Rival.

Gabriel is living the dream of every European American football coach, a football pilgrimage to the United States.

He arrived in California from France a week ago Thursday and his adventures started immediately.

On Friday, he met with new Bron-Villeurbanne coach Gregg Campbell to watch films and practice at Edison H.S. in Huntington Beach where Gregg coaches. He also watched Gregg's son's Pop Warner practice. In the evening he attended a marquee high school match up between the Long Beach Poly vs. Servite at Cerritos College.

On Saturday, Gabriel drove down to San Diego. A friend from my high school days, Brian Fogarty, is the former Head Football Coach at the University of San Diego and is currently their Associate Director for Development. Through Brian, I was able to secure sideline passes and access to the USD locker room before and after the game as well as during the halftime as they took on Western New Mexico University. USD won the game 38-35 and Gabriel had a great time viewing college football up close and personal!

On Sunday, Gabriel took a break from football and opted to attend a San Diego Padres baseball game.

Nice break.

Gabriel stayed in San Diego on Monday to go to the San Diego Chargers vs. Houston Texans season opening tilt. The Chargers lost a tough one 28-31.


On Wednesday, Gabriel made his way to Ventura County.

N.P.H.S. JV Pre-Game Practice
Son Mike and I working the Special Teams

Gabriel attended our light workout before our Thursday game against the Agoura Chargers.

Cal Lutheran University Practice

After our practice at Newbury Park, we drove over to CLU's practice as guests of the Kingsmen's Head Coach Ben McEnroe.

Gabriel intensely studying
the CLU Defense

With Clay Richardson

Clay does a great job as CLU's Offensive Coordinator. He was very helpful with Gabriel and was our starting QB on the first team that I ever coached, the 1970 Thousand Oaks H.S. JV team.


Gabriel would join us for both the JV and Varsity games at Agoura. 

RB Connor Williams ran well

LB Troy Urquiza lost his head

WR Shane Sipes Breaking away . . .

C Cameron Ruggiero excited . . .

And the two of them celebrated the TD

Sipes would score two TDs and a Two-Point PAT on the day.

Trench Warfare

Lian Metcalf and Luke Wuesthoff
combining on the tackle

QB Erich Wuesthoff 

Miracle Catch?

Halftime Meeting of the JV Brain Trust

Gabriel, on the right, made a couple of very good suggestions and observations as the game wore on.

Mike Contreras
making some halftime adjustments

Down 8-13 at the half,
I needed to exhort the troops

QB Erich Wuesthoff responded
with a great TD run

DT Nick Glaab forced a key turnover

Dagan Sciamanna
about to light up a Charger

More running by Connor Williams
in the second half made the difference

Luke Wuesthoff, a.k.a., "The Club"

Jack Jensen's interception
ended Agoura's last gasp attempt

The Final Score

Newbury Park is now 2-1 while Agoura drops to 1-2.

Next up for the Panther JVs is the home opener, finally, this coming Friday at 4:00 p.m. against a good Moorpark Musketeer squad that is 2-0-1 on the campaign.

Post game Hammer goes to . . .

OT Robert Geoffrion

What a great game he had as we continually ran to his side. After reviewing the game video, he earned an astounding NINE DYING COCKROACH decals!


Gabriel with me and son Mike Contreras

Gabriel stayed for the Varsity Game

It was a stirring game that NP won 24-20 behind a school record rushing performance by Junior RB Mathew Matlock. Matlock rushed 32 times for 335 yards and two TDs.

Gabriel was up in the booth for the first half of this game with Mike and I. In the second half he opted to be on the Panther sideline. 

After the game Mike and I joined Gabriel at the Agoura McDonald's to debrief for a bit. I think that he had a good time at both games.

On Saturday Gabriel attended the Boston College-USC game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC prevailed 35-7.

This coming week, Gabriel heads up to the San Francisco Bay area where I have been able to get him into a #5 ranked Stanford practice thanks to another former player of ours at Thousand Oaks H.S., Pete Alamar who is the Stanford Special Teams Coordinator. Stanford is preparing for a huge game against Arizona State this coming weekend.

Gabriel's final stop on his American football odyssey will be this coming Saturday at Pasadena's Rose Bowl to watch #13 ranked UCLA host New Mexico State.

I think that he is having the time of his American football coaching life!


On Saturday night, Laurie and I attended the Westlake H.S., Class of 1983's Thirty Year Reunion at Cisco's Restaurant in Westlake Village.

We had a TREMENDOUS time seeing several friends.

Dave Bakos, me, Craig Slavin
and Bill Fiander

Me, Pattie Baillie, Charlie Wegher
and Scott Winkler

With Dan McDermott

I have always looked back on our years coaching at Westlake with very fond memories. Great athletes who bought into the program from Day One made coaching easy.

It was great to see so many students from back in those Golden Days!

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