Coach Gonzalez brings the team another step forward

Jalin Washington, Staff writer

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The high school football season ended for Armijo after the November 3 homecoming game, but it was a strange season for most of the division. Between the extreme heat and the wildfires, there were cancelled games and cancelled practices. Coach Anthony Gonzalez, however, was able to keep his team safe and still end the season with more wins than Armijo has seen in a while.

Coach Gonzalez said that football is second nature to him. “It’s my calling,” he said. In high school, he played center and defensive tackle for Pinole Valley, but a knee injury at Contra Costa College ended his career, according to an article in The Daily Republic.

He’s been coaching for about 25 years. While football is one of his primary loves, he said that most of his coaching experience was in basketball. He has coached at Napa, Wood, Vanden and Fairfield High Schools. He even coached basketball for a season at Pacific Union College.

Last season he led Armijo’s junior varsity football team to a 5-5 record and many of those students were on his varsity team this year. The numbers were low for the 2017 season, but the team was still able to end with a 3-6 record, an improvement from previous years.

There’s just something about coaching football at Armijo that makes it special. Coach Gonzalez said that he enjoys working with his students. He likes the way the team has come together to overcome the image that has plagued Armijo football for years. “The team has been bonding since last spring’s workouts,” he said. “We had summer workout and [the players] attended summer camp at [South Lake Tahoe]. It has done a good job of helping the program as a whole.” It has also motivated him and he said that he would like to continue coaching at Armijo Indians until he retires.

He shared about the importance of being proud of our mascot and referenced Chief Solano, one of the more famous Indians in our region. “Solano is a native,” he said. “Solano isn’t any mascot. It’s our history.”

He encourages his player by letting them think for themselves. He explained that they have to want more than he does as coach. The players have to have a desire to get better. If the desires there, it’s going to be way easier to help them,” he said.

He also wants the players to take pride in themselves. Before the members of the team are in trouble, Coach Gonzalez reminds them that they are accountable to the team. “Student athletes need to know that, with playing sports, there’s a responsibility to be a positive student first, then an athlete,” he said. That accountability begins at

practice. If a student skips practice, he does not start. If they miss two practices within a week, they don’t play.

In addition to coaching the team, Coach Gonzalez is also a teacher. He has an English class but is also responsible for three Directed Study classes. He spends the majority of his time in C-7, and is married to Ms. Lori Gonzalez, who teaches Computer Arts, Computer Science and Virtual Enterprise in the room next door, C-5.

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