De Anza College’s football team ended its season as Nor-Cal Conference champions.
With eight wins and two losses, the football team is nationally ranked in Division A.
At the start of the season, as with any sports team, personalities clashed, whether it was from former rivalry or just a way of thinking, head coach Dan Atencio said.
In the beginning, it was just the fact that the players did not know each other, he said.
“Some of these guys, they played against [each other] in high school and [were] big time rivals,” he said.
Ninety players, some friends and others rivals, learned to put their differences aside for the one thing they all had in common: playing football.
Learning to work together took a bit of an adjustment, said Atencio, “but they’ve done it really well.”
The first game they lost to Contra Costa College on Sept.8 may have helped the players bond.
Sophomore wide receiver Paris Shaw described that game as the “low of the season.”
However, the team rose back up and went so far that Shaw said that that game is forgotten.
“Ever since that week was over, we just worked harder, realize[d] we didn’t have time to waste,” said offensive lineman Sal Temoras.
As the season continued, Temoras said they grew not just as a team, but also as a family.
Through all the different personalities and head-butting, the football team grew strong and won a conference championship against Foothill College.
De Anza, along with Butte and San Francisco colleges, became co-Nor-Cal Conference champs on Nov. 10.
The Nor-Cal Conference also named coach Atencio as Nor-Cal’s coach of the year; De Anza’s quarterback, Josh McCain, was voted as the offensive player of the year.
This year’s team consisted of 25 sophomores and 65 freshmen, while head coach Dan Atencio was assisted by Tony Santos, Fred Stewart, John Lango, Scott Swalls, Steve Johnson, Mike Barton, Bert Cordero, Jacob French, Bryan Mazzone and Robbie Deauville, as stated on mercurynews.com.