The 49ers High School Player of the Week Award for week 7 goes to Roger Contrares of Watsonville High School.
379 yards rushing, 80 yards receiving, and 5 touchdowns led the Watsonville Wildcatz to a 65-50 victory over the North Salinas Vikings last Friday, and though he shares credit with his teammates, those stats belong to one player by the name of Roger Contrares. Contrares' 459 yards accounted for over half of his season's total yardage of 846, and made him the holder of a new Santa Cruz County record for most rushing yards in a single game. The 5'5", 130 lb. senior had runs of 35, 41, 47, 49, 63, and 83 yards, working as part of the dynamic duo with quarterback Eddie Mares. The two together amassed an incredible 782 yards for the team.
"Whenever we needed crucial yardage, or a big play, we called on Roger," said Watsonville Coach, John Montante, "Roger is the heart and soul of our team. He is hungry, has the desire, work ethic, and is always the first one in and last one out—he is simply a Coach's dream."
After scoring one touchdown in the second quarter to get his power game going, Contrares put 4 more touchdowns on the board in the second half. With a back and forth battle between the Vikings and Wildcatz, it was crucial for Watsonville to execute every play in the fourth quarter. While playing linebacker, Roger injured his knee on an attempted tackle, though he was not ready to surrender to the sidelines. With the help from a motivational pack of linemen, Roger bounced back in the next series on offense, with an explosive 83 yard run to score on a game-changing play. The 83 yard touchdown and Roger's perseverance put Watsonville over the top with an untouchable score—the Wildcatz 65, Vikings 50.
"I was shocked by my performance," expressed Contrares, "I always go into games motivated to win, increase yardage, and I love to score, so all of that along with my line, kept me going through the entire game."
With heroes like Kendall Hunter and Frank Gore, Roger credits his success to the hard work he puts in each day, and the love for the team and the football atmosphere. As a first year head varsity coach of Watsonville, John Montante has implemented a new system that has gotten the team motivated to accomplish goals as individuals, as well as together.
"Coach John has the team believing," stated Contrares, "I know we have to work hard each day, and I will aim to keep my team up when intensity is low. I want to leave the season knowing I have set an example, and have taught the younger guys to believe as well."
As the home school of 49ers High School Player of the Week, Watsonville High School will receive a $500 grant for their football program. Contrares will receive a 49ers hat and t-shirt, a certificate signed by 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh, two tickets to a 49ers home game and recognition on 49ers.com. At the end of the season, Roger will be invited to the 49ers Training Facility in Santa Clara, CA to accept a trophy recognizing his achievements.