Video: Maximus Ahoia's highlights vs. St. John Bosco
See the La Mirada player in action against one of the nation's best programs.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Which came first, upsets over great programs or winning?
For La Mirada (Calif.)
in Southern California, they came at the same time. Upsetting traditional powers in the area has gone hand in hand with winning.
In nine seasons the Matadores went 78-34 under coach Mike Moschetti, who recently stepped down from the head post. He won seven league championships, a very impressive stat given that the program had not won one in 10 seasons before he started. They won a state championship in 2015 and Moschetti guided the Matadores from Division 9 in 2008 all the way to Division 3 in 2016; they will probably move to Division 2 in 2017.
Even though the program kept climbing the ladder of harder schedules, and more difficult opponents, it kept winning. Here are some thoughts Moschetti had when asked about his program's penchant for booking tough opponents:What was your philosophy about scheduling?
We feel that in order for a team to be great you have to play great teams. Athletes want to play in big-time games. Another reason we schedule up is that it prepares our team for the postseason. Why play bigger/better teams?
Our goal is to be a D-1 program. We have to challenge ourselves and use each game as a learning opportunity and as a measurement of our progress. We learn what we need to do. What did playing bigger programs do for your teams?
Scheduling up helps to make us better. We learn a lot about ourselves. Where have we improved? Where do we need to improve? How did we handle the pressure? This applies to both the players and the coaching staff. We also feel that even if we lose by a lopsided score to a team that we will learn more from that than by beating a team by a lopsided score. How did injuries against "bigger/faster" programs weigh in on the decision?
We don't see this as an issue. Injuries can happen in any game. If we properly condition and prepare, we hope we can reduce the risk of injury in any game. What do you think playing bigger programs did for your program in general?
Playing bigger programs has helped our program reach its current level of success. We know what it takes to compete at a higher level. In 2009 La Mirada was in Division 9. Progressively we have been moved up to higher divisions ending up in Division 3 this last season.
Chris Fore is a veteran Head Football Coach and Athletic Director from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide through his business Eight Laces Consulting.