The San Francisco 49ers Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award for week four goes to Adhir Ravipati from Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, CA.
There was no time to sit back and relax in this game, as Coach Ravipati's Bears kept it interesting until the final seconds. If it could happen, this game saw it happen. Menlo-Atherton hosted Los Gatos High School Friday night and was able to hold off the visiting Wildcats for a 35-28 win. At the end of the game, Los Gatos only needed to get in the end zone to tie it up, but in a series that couldn't have summed up the crazy game better, M-A came up with a huge sack on a 4th and four to finally secure the win.
"It is somewhat ironic that I receive this great recognition after a game that I was not happy with our team's performance, but I was definitely proud of the growth a sloppy game like this showed in our kids," explained Menlo-Atherton head coach Adhir Ravipati.
The Menlo-Atherton head coach was not satisfied with how his team played, but he was very proud of what a tough win like this proves about his team. Off the field success is paramount to the M-A Football Program and something that remains a consistent focus throughout all the coaches teach. The coaching staff stresses the importance of their players' success off the football field and puts a heavy emphasis on the importance of being good leaders and men in life.
"We talk a lot about that process of what it takes to be successful off the field. While it was a frustrating game, I think Friday was a great testament to the process and brought home everything we preach and value," said Coach Ravipati.
"This game speaks volumes on the growth of our players over the course of a year. To overcome the adversity they did and go through that and come out on the other side… They had to dig deep in this one and believe in themselves, and not quit just because it was hard," said Coach.
The Bears definitely had their share of adversity in this game, and it certainly wasn't easy. costly penalties, turnovers, bad snaps, interceptions, sacks, fumbles – you name it, and it was a part of this Friday night contest.
Per usual, M-A's running game did not disappoint, and the passing game was efficient. Defensively, the Bears were dominant and got after the Los Gatos quarterback all night long. However, that didn't slow down the Wildcats' offense which kept the game close.
The game-deciding series had Los Gatos starting from the Bears' 3-yard line after a bad snap on the previous punt. In line with how the rest of the game had played out, this drive was anything but ordinary. With back to back penalties, the Wildcat's drive got started moving in the wrong direction. Los Gatos' next play found their quarterback getting them back to the 3-yard line, only to be charged with another penalty negating the play. After a positive run from their running back, Los Gatos found themselves just one yard out. It all came down to this.
Middle linebacker, Stavro Papadakis, who had been a blitzing machine all night long, stuffed the ball carrier for a 3-yard loss, bringing a 4th and four play to determine it all. It was a combination of defensive linemen Noa Ngalu and Epili Mataele on the huge game-ending sack to secure the win for the M-A Bears.
"I think this game was the ultimate depiction of understanding the process of what it takes to be successful and all the hard work that goes into it. Learning that lesson is big for us, and I think this was a huge step for our guys and shows their tremendous growth there. I'm proud of them," said head coach Ravipati.
"It's easy to talk about winning. I think last year the guys talked about wanting to win but we didn't talk about what it takes to win. We talked a lot about that this offseason and I think this season they are really taking it to heart and understanding what it actually means and what it actually takes," continued the coach.
This is coach Ravipati's second year as head coach at M-A, and he deflected much of the credit to his principal at Menlo-Atherton, the administration, the board, athletic directors and of course, the rest of his staff.
"They just do so much for our kids off the field and they are so supportive; I wouldn't be able to do it without them and their support, and they deserve so much of this credit. I'm humbled by this recognition," said Ravipati.
As our Coach of the Week, Adhir Ravipati will receive a $1,000 grant for the Menlo-Atherton High School football program from the 49ers Foundation. As part of this award, he will also receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field. The week prior to the game, Coach Ravipati will be invited to the visit the SAP Performance Facility to watch a closed practice where 49ers head coach Chip Kelly will officially present him with his award. Coach Ravipati will also be featured on Cal-Hi Sports during their programming this weekend. Congratulations, Coach Ravipati!