Corcoran High may have posted a 27-7 loss to Hanford West but there were plenty of bright spots in Friday’s varsity football game. The Panthers who are under the direction of new head coach Nick Campbell has had to face a lot of “new” things this season.
With the loss of three year starting quarterback Nico Portillo and backup QB Dillon Fugate to graduation last year, Campbell has had to replace the team’s on field leadership position. He found his new quarterback among last year’s JV offensive lineman. Cain Oldenes shone bright Friday for his first time ever playing quarterback, said Campbell.
“He controlled the game pretty well. He made decent throws and smart decisions,” Campbell added.
Oldenes worked hard this summer for the football program and that is where Campbell took notice.
“I did not have the opportunity to coach Nico but I have met him several times and losing him is a huge loss for the program. It is always difficult to replace a three-year starter at QB especially when his back up was also a senior. Throughout the summer we worked really hard to find someone who had some of the natural abilities to play QB. Through all of our hard work we had one player who stood out above the rest and who has put in a lot of work to prepare for this season at QB and that was Cain,” Campbell said.
Also shining bright Friday was senior captain LeGary Austin who played pretty well on both offense and defense, Campbell noted. Austin scored Corcoran’s lone touchdown.
Campbell was also proud of how his team played hard and never gave up.
“We went out and did pretty well overall,” he commented.
No stats were available for Friday’s game due to a technical glitch in new software. But Campbell did elaborate on his team’s unity.
“I think one of the strengths we have on our team is the cohesion. A lot of these guys have been playing together for a long time and they get along so well and play well together. That is something you just cannot coach. A lot of coaches spend a lot of time and money on team building. These guys came out of the gate as a single unit with the same goal in mind,” Coach said.
The team will continue to work on the basics and will be led this season by senior captains Austin, Justin George, Eric Vargas and Junior Captain Luis Rivas, who were selected by their teammates to be the leaders of the team.
Corcoran will travel to Oakhurst tomorrow (Friday) to face Yosemite High School. Games will begin at 5 p.m. with JV and at 7 p.m. with varsity. They will be at home next Friday, Sept. 18 versus Shafter at Corcoran Community Stadium. It will also be Pop Warner night.