*The 49ers High School Player of the Week Award for week 1 goes to Will Fordyce of Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos, CA. *
Friday Night Lights is back! The 2017 high school football season opened last week with stunning upsets, impressive comebacks, and pull away victories.
Amongst these exciting season openers was a matchup between the Los Gatos Wildcats and the Pioneer Mustangs. The Wildcats were able to roll past the Mustangs to secure a 42-10 victory largely due to an explosive first half performance from Senior, Will Fordyce. The RB/SS was a key player in the game, opening his season with 10 carries for 47 yards, 2 receptions for 23 yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 7 tackles and 1 sack.
"Will is well rounded. We really try to move him around on the field as much as we can," explained Los Gatos head coach Mike Krail. "He's not a guy who gets 25 or 30 carries a game simply because he plays a ton of defense for us as well."
Fordyce built momentum for Los Gatos from the first possession of the game, opening with a 7-yard run for a touchdown. After long injury delays during the first half, Fordyce settled into his role as captain of the team, rallying the Wildcats off the bench with his "play with fire" method of attacking the game.
After giving up a field goal but answering with a 60-yard touchdown pass to end the first quarter, the Wildcats regained momentum in the second quarter with an aggressive run game led by Fordyce and ended the half with an 8-yard touchdown run by the captain.
"Being able to answer their field goal with a touchdown was really good for us…" said Krail, "Momentum is a huge factor in high school football and Will understood he needed to be aggressive on the field to gain it (momentum) back for the team."
Coming out of the half, Fordyce and the team cleaned up the penalties, settled down, and got into their groove. The Wildcats finished the game with three more touchdowns and a shutdown performance from the defense.
"I give second half credit to our Wildcat defense…" explained Coach Krail, "Will is a tone setter for this defense. Again, he plays the game on fire…leading the defense to only give up 10 points in this game."
Fordyce is a lead by example type of guy. "He's not a "ra-ra" guy, he is all about hard work and the effort he and his teammates show on the field." Coach Krail quoted one of Will's testimonials to his teammates from the beginning of the season as, "I am going to practice really hard every day and you guys better be ready."
This statement alone shows why Fordyce is a stand out Senior to his coaches and has earned the respect of his teammates. He comes to practice with a purpose and his ability to differentiate when it's time to grind versus when it's time to joke around with his teammates has proven to the Wildcats' coaching staff he is mature beyond his years.
Coach Krail explained, "As a leader, Will has a good sense of balance…this is good for our team because leaders are followed."
As Will looks to the rest his Senior year, he plans to continue working hard on and off the field. Fordyce strives to play college football after high school and understands he needs to have a stand out football season as well as work hard in the classroom to turn his dreams into reality.
With a supportive football team and family backing him up, the future looks bright for #23!
As the home school of the 49ers High School Player of the Week, Los Gatos will receive a $500 grant for their football program from the 49ers Foundation. As part of this award, Fordyce will receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field during pre-game. At the end of the season, Fordyce will be invited to the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where 49ers head coach, Kyle Shanahan, will officially present him with his award.