The San Francisco 49ers Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award presented by the California National Guard for week one goes to Nick Gardiner from Branham High School in San Jose.
Coach Gardiner's young team started its season off strong with a big victory in its rivalry game against Leigh High on Friday. The Bruins turned in a dominating performance despite being the visiting team, storming to a 26-0 half-time lead and holding on for a 26-20 win.
"The rival game pumped them up as a team, and they came out ready," explained Gardiner.
Senior Running Back Elijah Davis started the scoring for the Bruins with a 10-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Next up it was senior quarterback Luke Morin's turn with a 40-yard TD toss to Sean McPherson.. Morin closed out the first half by rushing for a 10-yard TD and giving his team a 26 point lead by intermission.
Leigh came back in the second half with three unanswered touchdowns of their own to cut Branham's lead to six. The Bruin's defense answered with a blocked punt, to swinging the momentum and shutdown the comeback. Defensive leaders Sean McPherson had nine tackles, and both Chris Belko and Michael Swift had five.
Coach Gardiner has been with the Bruins for four seasons and wants to instill the idea of "team" in his players.
"We just try to play team football. That's it," said Gardiner, "We try to play together and play for one another.".
Kicking their season off on a high note, the Bruins hope follow up this victory with another win when they take on Castlemont in their home opener on Sept. 12th, 7 p.m.
For being named Coach of the Week, Branham High School will receive $1,000 grant from the 49ers Foundation. Coach Gardiner will also be featured on Cal-Hi sports and receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field. In the weeks leading up to the on-field recognition, Gardiner will also be invited to visit the 49ers training facility in Santa Clara to watch a private practice and receive a certificate from 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.
Congratulations Coach Gardiner and the entire Bruin's team!