In last spring’s COVID-shortened, five-game season, the Fremont Firebirds finished last in the El Camino League with a 1-4 record. Despite the disappointing record, the Firebirds played some strong football and were only a couple plays away from having gone 3-2 instead of 1-4. With a strong set of returners, confidence is high that the Firebirds squad can have a winning season this year.
One of those key returners is last year’s starting quarterback Bronson Stein. During the shortened season back in March, Stein was thrust into the starting quarterback role when senior Ryan Kowal elected to opt out of his senior season due to COVID-19 concerns. With the experience gained starting last season as a junior, and this time around knowing he is the guy all offseason, Stein is even more confident going into his senior season.
“Definitely feeling more confident,” said Stein. “To have some games played under my belt, that game experience is definitely going to help me be less nervous out there playing, I’ll be more composed.”
Fremont Head Coach Rob Swartz likewise has high hopes for his senior quarterback.
“[Last year’s experience] definitely helps his confidence level and helps with him knowing what his role is going to be,” said the Fremont Head Honcho. “We’re expecting a big year from him. He’s gonna probably be a two-way starter for us on offense and defense. He’s been a guy out here every day working hard. We really think this is going to be a great senior year for him.”
Stein isn’t the only player that Coach Swartz is extremely high on. Starting center Gus Arias and running back Lenny Sinapati, among others, are players that Coach Swartz feels will make a huge impact on the field this season.
“I think one of the best players in the league this year is gonna be Lenny Sinapati, he’s 6’1”, 215 – 220, I think he could be the player of the year in the league,” praised Swartz on his number one back. “I think he’s going to be really good. We also have TJ Takafua, who is 6’0”, 315, going to be playing tight end. Those are key guys coming back from last season. And our team leader Gus Arias, playing center. He just has a great attitude.”
With such big expectations for players at critical positions like quarterback and running back, how high are the team goals for Coach Swartz?
“We’re looking for a winning season this year,” said Swartz without any hesitation. “If we can stay healthy and the kids keep doing what they are doing, they are a pretty dedicated bunch this year. I think we will be headed in the right direction to achieve that goal.”
The starting quarterback echoed his coach’s thoughts on the potential of a winning season.
“I think our team goal is just to win as many games as we can,” said Stein. “I think if we went over .500 that would be pretty good. I think we can definitely do better than 500 actually.”
Fremont will look to start the campaign off on a winning note when they open the season at Evergreen Valley on Friday, Aug. 27.