The San Francisco 49ers Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award presented by the California National Guard for week seven goes to Mike Suarez from Prospect High School in Saratoga, Ca.
Prospect High School persevered in their home game header against Yerba Buena, advancing their overall record to 1-3 for the regular season. Head Coach Mike Suarez lauds his coaching staff as being one of the key ingredients for the Panthers steady strides and overall strong influences for his young men.
It was a back-and-forth battle as the Prospect Panthers edged the visiting Yerba Buena Aztec Warriors for the 33-27 victory on their Friday night home match up. The score alone depicts a close game, although it does not truly represent the nail-biting pressure the teams generated. Coach Suarez applauds all three sides of his team working together, ultimately creating opportunities in favor of the Panthers and coming out of the single overtime with the win.
Senior Tarnell Pollard proved to be an asset to his team with an outstanding 163 yards rushing, 271 all-purpose yards, and a grand total of four touchdowns throughout the match-up. Responding to a forced fumble, Pollard made the necessary adjustments and turned the opportunity given by his defense into a touchdown in overtime to ultimately take the game. D'Marcus Jones also displayed offensive leadership with 76 yards rushing, 154 all-purpose yards, and a touchdown for the Panthers. Aside from his impressive offensive performance, Jones also tallied up eight tackles and three sacs to set the tone for the Panther's defense. Coach Suarez also favorably acclaims his offensive line for coming together and pushing the Panthers throughout the entire game.
"The defense did their job for the given situations and really put the pressure on for overtime, and then in overtime," explains Coach Suarez. "We really had a big game on the ground, which I'm proud of because we really prepped for that."
Stepping into his fifth year as head coach, Suarez is honored by the breed of coaches he is so fortunate to have acquired as his staff. Out of the six coaches, four are Prospect High Alumni that had played with each other at one time or another in that signature blue and gold. Honored to be in the position to bring the same culture to their young men that they were given when they once represented the Panthers, Coach Suarez knows he has a staff that truly cares about every individual on his roster just as he does.
Practicing hard on the field is a given, but striving to be a reliable and honest man is the utmost important practice according to Coach Suarez. Recently, one of his young players faced adversity head on with the Panthers' support and utilized the safe and healthy outlet which Coach Suarez and his staff have created through football.
"This team comes together," explains Suarez, "Those wins are the types of wins that count after high school. Those are the wins we care about."
Although they have a smaller roster than most, the Panthers have proved to be a powerful pack with a promising season. Along with the trusting leadership of Rudy Suez, Byron Burnett, Adrian Wise, Fernando Suarez and Michael Cable, Coach Suarez plans to make it to that final game this season.
For being named Coach of the Week, Prospect High School will receive $1,000 grant from the 49ers Foundation. Coach Suarez 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, Coach Suarez will 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 Mike Suarez and the entire Panthers team!