The Fremont Firebirds varsity football squad looks prime to take another step forward in year five under Head Coach Rob Swartz. This Friday, Aug. 11 will mark two weeks until the Firebirds kick off their 2023 schedule with a tough non-league opener against Palo Alto.
Fremont is coming off a strong 2022 season that could have been even better. Last year’s squad finished 6-4 overall, and 4-3 in league, but two of their league losses came by seven points or fewer.
One of those losses came against Woodside where the Firebirds had a chance to win on a last second field goal. The kick was blocked and returned for a touchdown as time expired. Fremont was that close to having finished the season 7-3 overall and 5-2 in league.
Not only are the Firebirds coming off an impressive season in 2022, but expectations are even higher this year considering last year was a junior-heavy team. Those Class-of-2024 players are back now for their senior seasons, hungry to go out on a winning note.
“About half the team is juniors from last year coming back,” chimed quarterback Henry Buenrostro. “So, I expect our team to do better than we did last year. I feel like last year our season ended early when we should have been able to go further.”
“I feel like we can definitely go above and beyond where we were last year,” noted senior running back Don Martinez. “We can do much better this time around because we know what we struggled with last year and can fix those things by working ten times harder.”
“Since we have most of our key players, we should be able to push forward towards an even stronger season this year,” added senior tailback Jonathan Delos Santos. “If we continue to train hard and push ourselves past the limit, we will be great as a team.”
Coach Swartz sounds just as confident as his players that this season can be a special one for the club.
“We’re definitely ahead of where we were last year [at this time],” remarked the head coach on current preparations. “We have a lot of experience; we have eight returning starters on offense and on defense. All of our backfield is coming back and they have run this offense before so we are way ahead of where we have been. We can implement things we didn’t do last year just because the quarterback is more familiar with it. Henry has more confidence now.”
Buenrostro’s confidence at quarterback and the overall team confidence will need to be high from the get go if the Firebirds want to start off on the right foot.
“Obviously Palo Alto is a good team, they won CCS last year,” noted Swartz. “But we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Fremont opens the season at Palo Alto on Friday, Aug. 25. The Firebirds will then kickoff their home schedule the following week when they host Westmont on Sept. 1.