The San Francisco 49ers Foundation's Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award for week eight goes to Jeff Mueller from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino.
The Monta Vista Matadors fought like gladiators through a 46-7 victory over the Harker Eagles last Friday.
After eleven years at Monta Vista, Coach Jeff Mueller continues to lead his team on a path of winning records and supremacy. Encouraging all of their players to live by responsibility and accountability, Mueller and the same coaching staff which has been by his side the last seven years, promote these qualities on and off the field. Coaching continuity, positive team representation, and comradery are what Jeff Mueller claims to be the keys to his program's success.
"I want our players to leave here understanding they will always have roles in life and will be responsible for dealing with the results of any situation," expressed Mueller, "they will not only work as a team in high school, but in their future as they learn to work with and depend on others."
The Matadors proved they can depend on each other as their offense and defense worked together to score 21 points in the first quarter against Harker. On the third play of the game, Monta Vista's senior running back Peter Stern went 78 yards for a touchdown. When the Matador defense took the field, they wasted no time as cornerback Will Major intercepted Harker's Spenser Quash to set his offense up for another score. Major had a total of 3 interceptions throughout the game, breaking a 30 year old school record.
Quarterback Ryan Manley, who started his first game after senior Nathan Facciolla was put on the injured reserve list with a concussion from last week's game, threw a 60 yard screen pass to junior wide receiver Justin Cena for a touchdown in the second quarter. Center and nose tackle Omar Naguib led the offensive and defensive lines, allowing Manley to take full advantage of their triple option offense with hand offs to running back Peter Sterns who accrued 242 yards, and passes to wide receivers Justin Cena and Milanko Plavsic who had a combined 127 yards..
The Matadors entered the third quarter with a 35-6 lead, and continued full throttle through the second half. Scoring once in each of the third and fourth quarters, Monta Vista held Harker to just one touchdown in the first, dominating the game 48-6.
Eleven years ago, Coach Mueller knew he would have to bring several changes to turn the Monta Vista football program around. The team went 1-9 his first two seasons, thus Mueller began putting in overtime and expected the same from his players. The team established a new routine of spending offseason in the weight room bonding and becoming faster, stronger, and more powerful individuals.
"We evaluate our players every year and make adjustments based on who we have coming up. If they need more time studying, they study. If they need more time with drills or conditioning, we do that," said Mueller.
When Coach Mueller is not assessing skill and academics, he is focusing on player safety. The Matadors spend time at a camp in June where they not only concentrate on your normal football drills and training, but on concussion awareness and tackling technique as well. Mueller has invested in Guardian protective helmet covers for his concussion-prone players, who have not experienced any trauma to the head since.
"We want every player out there every day," stated Coach Mueller, "We will take it game by game, aim to play through playoffs and represent our team at a high level--ultimately we would love to win that championship."
The Matadors look to improve their record to 6-2 as they take on 0-6 Los Altos in their next El Camino League matchup.
For the Matadors great win and an outstanding team effort, the San Francisco 49ers have selected Coach Jeff Mueller as the Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial High School Coach of the Week.
In addition to being named Coach of the Week, the Monta Vista High football program will receive $1,000 from the 49ers Foundation. Coach Mueller will also receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field before the game, as well as an article on 49ers.com. In the weeks leading up to the on-field recognition, Mueller 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.