With the month of August on the horizon, the new football season is quickly approaching. Both the Santa Clara High School Bruins and the Wilcox High School Chargers will begin “fall” practices with full pads on Friday, August 3.
This past week the Bruins wrapped up their summer session of workouts — their first under new Head Coach Burt Codera. The Weekly sat down with the first-year coach and senior players Nick Garcia and Justin Rogers to get a feel for how the team has progressed over the first few months under the new regime.
“We’re getting there, we are putting in a lot of work as a team,” remarked Rogers, who plays on the interior of both the offense and defensive line. “We’re still getting used to the new coaching staff, but these guys know what they are doing, and they’ve definitely had us grinding hard out here.”
Not only are the Bruins players learning a new system, but last year’s starting quarterback Christopher Brown has since graduated. For Garcia, who primarily plays wide receiver, that means building a rapport with a stable of new quarterbacks. As of this moment, no starting quarterback has been named.
“It’s extremely important for the quarterbacks and receivers to develop a deep chemistry,” acknowledged Garcia. “And I definitely feel, through the first half of the summer, that we’ve been able to develop that. Plus I feel like with coach Codera not telling us who the starter is, the guys are even more fired up to become better quarterbacks. They are all working as hard as they can to become the starter which is helping the team in more ways than one.”
As a first-year Head Coach, Codera is leaning on both his experience as an offensive coordinator at De Anza College and his close-knit staff of coaches to help guide the ship.
“I’m basically drawing from the majority of my experience at De Anza because I did every single job at De Anza,” remarked coach Codera. “I started basically as just a volunteer, bottom of the barrel and then I was a position coach, then a strength coach and then I was a recruiting coordinator, finally offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.”
“My whole family is essentially on the coaching staff,” continued coach Codera on the family atmosphere. “I have my three brothers, my dad — my wife is the strength coach. One of my mentors is the defensive coordinator and everyone else is really close to me. I don’t just talk about family, I really try to exemplify it that this is a family business. Football is a family game.”
Like most coaches, Codera would not admit to being satisfied with his team, but acknowledged he does like the improvements they have made over the summer.
“I don’t think it will ever be where I want it to be,” chuckled coach Codera on if the team is at where he would want them to be at this point. “But that’s kind of the challenge and why we do what we do and there is always something to work towards. That said, we’ve finished our sixth week working with them and where we came from day one to where we are at now, I feel like we have made a lot of progress. Still a long ways to go.”
Santa Clara’s first game of the season is set for August 24 when the Bruins travel to take on Prospect.