The San Francisco 49ers Foundation Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week award for week five goes to Rob Poulos from Sequoia High School in Redwood City.
It is that time of the season where high school football teams begin to solidify their identities and find out if they have what it takes to be champions. Injuries and fatigue become one of the many hurdles that a coach and team must overcome.
After losing a number of seniors from last year's 11-1 team, and third year starting quarterback senior James Beekley to a torn ACL in week one, the Sequoia Cherokee, under the leadership of Coach Rob Poulos, have picked up right where they left off – winning ball games.
Week fives win over the undefeated Aragon Dons brings their record to 4-1 and was another example of the Sequoia High Cherokee's resolve and team character that they have displayed all season long.
The Cherokee and Dons battled for four quarters but in the end it came down to who wanted it more.
"It was an up and down week of practice that led to an up and down game," said Coach Poulos.
With four minutes left and down 28-26, the Cherokee lined up for an onside kick. The kick was popped up and senior Josh Lauese did not see the Dons return man throw up a hand signaling a fair catch. Lauese received a penalty for his hit on the Dons player that resulted in great field position for Aragon High to run out the clock.
Now on defense, linebacker Josh Lauese would have an opportunity to make up for his mistake – and did he ever. The very first play Lauese timed the snap perfectly and shot through the "A" gap stripping the ball from the Dons quarterback, forcing a pivotal fumble that was recovered by Cherokee Liam Cotter.
Other key contributors to the win were Abhineet Ram, Oscar Alejandre, Eric Avila, Jordin Veimau, Julian Betero, Tommy Tatakamotonga and the Cherokee's new starting quarterback Mike Taylor who had 300 yards of total offense and scored twice.
The team has honored injured senior quarterback James Beekley by carrying his helmet all season, even bringing it out to each coin toss with the other team captains.
Coach Polous lives in San Carlos with his wife Christy and his nine-year-old twins Connor and Emalie.
For the Cherokee's great win and an outstanding team effort, the San Francisco 49ers have selected Coach Polous as the Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial High School Coach of the Week.
In addition to being named Coach of the Week, Coach Polous and the Dequoia High Cherokee football program will receive $1,000 from the 49ers Foundation. Coach Polous will also be featured in a KRON 4 interview with Gary Radnich, receive two tickets to a 49ers home game where he will be recognized on the field before the game, as well as in an article on 49ers.com. In the weeks leading up to that game Polous will be invited to visit the 49ers training facility in Santa Clara to watch a private practice and receive a certificate from 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh.