The San Francisco 49ers Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award for week four goes to Jay Braun from Oak Grove High School in San Jose, CA.
The Oak grove Eagles opened their season with two brutal WCAL opponents, facing St. Francis and Valley Christian right out of the gates. Their bye fell early, but maybe to their advantage having the week to brush off the first two games and refocus their attention on the rest of the season. Braun's Eagles took advantage of the extra preparation time, and did just that, defeating Palo Alto 46-7 Friday night.
Oak Grove did a great job of sticking together and staying positive during their 0-2 start, and Head Coach Jay Braun commended his players for that.
"We knew we had to maintain our focus and just stay the course. Yes, we opened with a couple tough opponents, but you could see on film where our mistakes were being made and that those mistakes were leading to the outcomes," said Head Coach Braun. "What was even more promising was the fact that the players were able to identify them and knew what they needed to work on," said Braun.
With plenty of schedule still left, the Head Coach feels confident with where his team is at as they head into their league games.
"It's something we've always preached in the locker room. It's not how you start, it's how you finish," insisted Braun.
It didn't start off promising for Oak Grove Friday night. They put together a nice drive down the field, only for it to end by a penalty – later missing the field goal and coming away with no points. Palo Alto then came in and put up seven points to leave Oak Grove trailing early in the game. On their second offensive possession the Eagles found the end zone by way of Rashaan Fontenette.
It was very much a game going into the half with Jay Braun's Eagles only up 12-7 after missing both PATs. However, after Rashaan Fontenette's punt return to start the second half, it was all Oak Grove.
"We felt like we could be successful with our punt return game. It was something we worked on during the off week," said Braun.
Fontenette finished the night with four touchdowns and the Eagles blanked Palo Alto in the second half, scoring five unanswered touchdowns.
The defense did its part as well, coming away with 3 interceptions coming at crucial points in the game where the defense rose up twice and stopped potential scoring drives. The third ended up turning into a defensive score, as senior DB Anu Tuiono came away with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Oak Grove, 1-2, begins their league games this week as they host Pioneer Friday night, and they hope to carry this momentum into the remainder of their season as Coach Braun has preached from the start.
"We feel good. You can only play one game at a time. These teams will come to play us, and our guys have to know that. Each given night… you only have to beat someone once. We have to be at our best and we are looking forward to the challenge," said the Head Coach.
If there is any time to be hot, it is now. Their resiliency and ability to band together during the tough start has them set up nicely going into the remainder of their schedule.
As part of The San Francisco 49ers Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award, Jay Braun will receive a $1,000 grant for Oak Grove High School from the 49ers Foundation. As our Coach of the Week, he will also receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field. In the weeks leading up to the game, Coach Braun will be invited to the visit the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where Coach Tomsula will officially present him with his award. Coach Braun will also be featured on Cal-Hi Sports.
Congratulations Coach Braun and the entire Eagles team!