Banning High School’s football team will be all-inclusive, no huddle, under newly appointed head football coach, Qua’sand Lewis, Jr.
There will be a “lot of focus on the little things,” such as getting to class, working out, branching out into other sports in order to keep up the endurance, and doing “the extra things on your own when no one’s looking.”
In an after-school meeting a couple of days before Lewis would begin his role as an employee of the school district, more than 20 boys and faculty gathered around to meet their new coach in the school’s library.
Lewis outlined his expectations, and let the team know what they in turn can expect next season.
“Not everyone gets 1,000 yards rushing; not everyone gets to be the star quarterback,” Lewis said, “but if you come out and try hard, no one will be left behind. No one will be cut from the team.”
A lot of conditioning, a lot of focusing on details and “doing all the little things right,” will make the game of football second nature, he said.
He singled out the several juniors who will be seniors in the fall, and lectured them on leaving behind a legacy, and encouraged them to be the leaders the underclassmen can always look up to and remember.
Coaches, he explained, will not have specific roles. No defensive or offensive coaches.
“Everybody will be helping everyone else,” he assured. “Our ability to win league next year starts today.”
After the half-hour meet and greet concluded, a few students shared their thoughts.
Freshman Bruce Connolly, who played left and right tackle last fall, appreciated the fact that “There will be cooperation with everyone, regardless of what grade you’re in. I think we’ll have more fun with this coach.”
Anthony Mendoza, a freshman who was assigned to left and right guard last season, said, “It’s good the team will focus on details. It will help us get better with our speed, our footwork, and we’ll get more yards.”
Eric Ellison, a junior right back and free safety, said, “I’m expecting to have a good season. He gave us a lot of hope that we’ll have a good year.”
Sophomore John Madison perused a copy of the playbook that each student received.
“I like the fact that he has more formations, and they all work,” Madison said. “I like the fact that we’ll use all athletes — everyone will be involved with the ball.”
Principal Matt Valdivia, who has been sensitive about building Banning’s “House” and making it “Bronco Strong” by promoting and involving those who have always had ties to Banning High School, was encouraged to have an outsider come in and offer an infusion of experience.
Lewis attended high school in Rancho Cucamonga, and played running back and safety at Fordham University where he received his degree in business administration in 2011 with a minor in sports marketing.
“We’re building our house to make sure that what we build in the end, provides the best opportunities for our students in academics, athletics, and extracurricular programs,” Valdivia said.
Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.