Redemption season starts in the spring

Football hits the field.


Anthony Martinez

Ronnell Snell shows off his leaping ability to reel in the ball.

Jesus Cano, @Juice_Cano

LMC’s football team is on the road to a bounce-back season. Their first stop—Spring ball.

The Mustangs finished fourth place in the 2018 Pacific 7 conference with a record of 3-6, a massive downfall compared to 2017 when LMC had one of the best seasons in school history.

While the season doesn’t start until September and players are not allowed to use pads and helmets until August, Spring ball allows both coaches and players to have a preview of the new team. While many returning players have already cemented their role with the team, new players are looking to impress coaches for playing time.

“Spring ball is very important to each individual and also our team as a whole.  Our whole program was not happy with the way things went for us in 2018 season,” said Chris Shipe,LMC head coach . “So we had to get back to the basics.  We started the first part of the spring spending 4 days a week in the weight room as a team. Now we spend 2 days in the weight room and spend 2 days on the field.”

For a lot of players, like linebacker Heamasi Latu, who is heading into his sophomore year, this upcoming season is the last chance to have a strong season with LMC. He adds that an early strong start lays the foundation for a season. And for the Mustangs, it can certainly get better.

“We plan on having a bounce back season by holding everyone accountable for their actions. We all need to execute our assignments and have trust in each-other to be successful,” said Latu.  “We are going to the ship this year and just know that No. 9 will be putting everything on the line out there to make that happen.”

LMC introduced Sam Garcia as its new offensive line coach after long-time coach Dave Reinders stepped down. Garcia, a former LMC football player and Pittsburg High School alumnus, coached some of the best offenses at Pittsburg, where had been coaching since 2003. Garcia played under coach Shipe in 2002, winning a bowl in the process.He gave up coaching under the Friday Night lights at a roaring Pirate Stadium for one of the best programs in Northern California. All to help build and be part of an LMC program with a promising future.

“I envision great things happening at LMC, and I really feel like I can be part of it and making it happen,” said Garcia. “I know I coach high school and college football, but I never had the opportunity to coach college football. I may never get this chance again. I couldn’t let a great opportunity pass by.”

Garcia brings a lot of experience but also wants to bring more local talent from the Bay Valley Athletic League to LMC to strengthen the program.

“I’m juiced to have Coach Garcia joining our program. I’ve known him for a couple years now and he truly loves the game. We struggled on the oline last year so having some fresh blood and energy will do us good,” said offensive lineman Ryan Vanderwerf.