The Insight of the Currently Undefeated JV Football Team


Bob Bronzan

Granada’s JV Team lined up for the national anthem

Gabe Ruiz, Reporter

From last year’s JV football team to this new year, the only thing that changed is the coaching staff. This year’s JV football team is once again undefeated. They have rolled over teams like Heritage, Castro Valley, Amador, San Leandro, Dublin, and Dougherty.

The JV team plays on Fridays at 4:30 pm right before varsity plays. They have a coaching staff of: head coach Will Smith, as well as Jared Muela, Rick Gutierrez, Todd Beck, Rich Caradeiro, Dan Rojas, and Ken Thralls, who are all assistant coaches.

Coach Smith says for their practices, he wants them to be fast and productive. “I run our practices by time intervals, everything is in a time block. We have 8-minute periods, or we have 15-minute periods and the whole reason why I do that is because the kids enjoy the practices and them going quick.”

Smith has been coaching for 27 years and this is his first year coaching at Granada. His coaching philosophy, “I want to make these kids leaders. I want them to be able to make their own decisions when it comes down to it. My goal is to not be a puppet master to them and control them all the time.”

With coaching comes expectations for his players on and off the field. “My main goal for them on the field would be to do their job to the best of their ability and finish what they start,” said Smith. “As for off the field and in the classroom, I teach them three rules for life in general. First, show up. Second, do work. Third, listen. And if they can apply those rules to everything they do, whether it is on the field or in school or life, they will be successful.”

Smith went on to say, “What I look for in players is, who is self advocating. How are their leadership skills. Can they say something when it’s not right. I have five pillars that I use: leadership, integrity, family, toughness and trust. This whole game of football is based on trust, can we trust that all 11 players on the field are going to do their job?”

Coach Rick Caradeiro was asked what he believes has been working for this team. “We have a great group of players that have nice chemistry and they have been playing for a long time. From the starter role to the back ups, everyone knows their roles and performs very well.”

Starting quarterback Tristan Ti’a was asked why the team is where they are right now. “We have just known each other for a long time, and we have that chemistry. All the players each have their own individual talent and these coaches help us bring them together to be where we are at.”

Coach Smith was also asked to describe why he thinks they are an undefeated team and what works. “It is the whole team for sure. You know this team definitely has a lot of talent and they all execute. It also goes to our coaching staff. Our biggest weaknesses would be that when some players will put themselves in front of the team, and that just doesn’t work.”

Coach Rick also added to Coach Smith, “That can definitely be a problem with the team, but I also think that one problem could be that we are a young new coaching staff and we all have these different perspectives. We could see things differently but we all know that we come from the same place and we all have the same end goal. And we’re all as a coaching staff still trying to figure each other out, but in the end what we are doing is working.”

Coach Rick went on to say, “They are here to prepare the players for their job on the field and when the players go out and do that, we win. It is definitely a 50/50 relationship with the coaches to players. The coaches put 50 percent and the players put their 50 percent. And because they have both been doing that, we stand where we are.”

Ti’a described what the team is like. “One of our biggest strengths can be that our chemistry is just there on point and we execute. These coaches push us to become the best of ourselves and sometimes they are brutally honest but that’s what helps us stay on track. Our offense is full of talent. We have been doing it since last year and we’re good at it. We got all of our basic plays down and now we just are adding more to it. Our defense is just about the same, they can definitely hold their own through games and they are a strong set.”

Coach Smith had this to say about future years with the JV team, “I will still be here, and I hope to continue the record of undefeated seasons. It is fun coaching at this level and we know what the mission is, and we go out to execute it.”