The 2022-23 school year featured the inaugural campaign for most of the MacDonald Condors sports teams. Santa Clara Unified’s brand new high school began operations with only the class of 2026. That meant fielding JV sports teams composed of just freshmen and no sophomores.
While most of the traditional high school sports kicked off immediately, MacDonald administrators hope to get water polo, softball and baseball going here in year two. But despite not fielding teams in baseball or softball last year, Athletic Director Darrin Garcia still called year one a “home run” when speaking with The Voice. Garcia beamed with pride when discussing his staff of coaches and the school’s first ever winners of the male and female athletes of the year award.
“The kids are working really hard and so I wanna make sure we present them an environment and experience that is similar to the other high schools that are prioritizing athletics,” noted Garcia. “We are hoping to continue to grow and make sure we are moving forward, continually evaluating what is working and what’s not. We are super happy with the kids and the administration has been incredibly supportive. I’m just excited for everything on what’s to come.”
Those winners for the first athlete of the year awards were Ethan Bugarin and Clareese Pangilnan. Bugarin played football, basketball and track and field, while Pangilnan competed in volleyball, soccer and track and field. Pangilnan even ended up as league champion in both the shot put and discus.
It wasn’t only the students winning awards in year one though. Swimming Head Coach Josh Morgan won Coach of the Year for the El Camino League, which will go down as the first coaching award in school history. Garcia was extremely proud of his coaches on the whole, including football Head Coach Burt Codera who managed to get his squad to win two of the five league games they played.
MacDonald Football Coach Looking to Build on Successful Season
The Voice also caught up with Codera for reflections on year one and thoughts looking forward to year two.
Q: “What were the biggest challenges last year?”
Codera: “We had a good turn out of about 20 kids and by the time school started I got the roster up to 28 or 30. Most of them had never played the game before, I think I had two kids who had played tackle football before. But I had a really good coaching staff, super experienced staff and we were able to get these guys going and ended up with a 2-3 record. We progressively got better each week as the year went on.”
Q: “What, if anything, did you learn about yourself as a coach last year?”
Codera: “I definitely learned how to be patient, had to learn some patience because I have never worked with the freshman age, and we had to go very elementary with what we were teaching.”
Q: “What are your general thoughts going forward into year two?”
Codera: “I’m just really excited for what we have going, I feel a lot of momentum building going into year two. It’s just an exciting time to be a coach and teacher over here at McDonald. I’m just excited to see what we can do.”