Giving Thanks to Our Football Coaches

Giving Thanks to Our Football Coaches

Family, feast and football! Thanksgiving is a chance for family and friends to gather and give thanks for all that they have. However…this year is different.  Thanksgiving is unlike any other with a covid still looming. Yet, the Dons Football family is  grateful for our Acalanes football program and OUR COACHES!

“Knock knock!” “Who’s there?” “Don.” “Don who?” “Don eat all the gravy, I want some more.”

Coaching football in the age of Covid brings an extra emphasis to the life lessons the sport can teach. Ask virtually any high school football coach across the country  why they coach, and they’ll tell you football is about more than the wins and the losses, the accolades, or even the championships. Football, as a game, is about teaching life lessons: teamwork, hard work, resilience.    Our Dons coaching staff   have found  ways to bond, thrive, and endure. Building meaningful relationships that are so important to a football team, and covid can not stop that.   Acalanes football has always been about building a solid foundation for a young person’s life, based on principles and experiences that can only be taught through the game. It’s about cultivating genuine relationships between players, coaches and a community of fans and that is what Coach Burnsed does so very well.

This year as covid dominates our lives, classrooms are quiet, hallways vacant, our football bleachers sit empty and the excitement of Fright Night Lights is put on hold as our community misses the blue magic on our football field. In the midst of a global pandemic that’s affecting counties and communities across California it rings more true than ever, the importance of TEAM.  As with any season, the goal is to keep playing as long as possible. In this unprecedented season, that carries even greater meaning. No matter the circumstances the Dons just push through it. The overriding theme: Things are largely out of our control and we never know when it might be our last game, or for us now, our first football game. 

We are FAMILY!

Dons are focused to start in December to pad up and play hard.  Thom Simmons, the spokesman for the CIF Southern Section, said that he remains optimistic that the high school football season will begin on schedule. December is our kick off month to our football season.  So  the Dons  continue to work hard, grow stronger and smarter as they wait for the blow of the whistle in their first game. The pandemic  has taught  us how  important it is to have a strong, efficient coaching staff. Our coaches have been dedicated for months to our football Dons. We are very, very grateful for Acalanes Football coaches. Here is how they do it:

IT IS A GREAT DAY TO BE A DON!

VARISTY:  Coach Burnsed has taken advantage of the covid situation  with his coaching staff. Burnsed shared:  fortunately football is a sport in which a great deal of practice is spent in position groups.  We are able to really teach a lot of technique to each position. I think each player has benefited greatly from the practices and has been a great release for them with everything going on.  We are in groups of 12 players and coaches have to stay with one group. It has been great to have a staff that is willing to put in the time to ensure our players have a great experience. I’ve also learned that we have to be able to cope, and live with, things that are beyond our control.


JUNIOR VARSITY:  In late August, Coach Young  was asked about covid and football:  I believe they’ll never take their high school sport or high school for granted. Our J.V. team is really working hard and driven to improve and succeed.  In small part it’s maturity, just due to this time in their lives.  In my heart, I think the maturity comes from the fact that they’ve lost so much, over the last six months, they’ll never take anything for granted. For most of them, they’ve lost one-fourth of their sports careers. Going forward, they’ll work hard not only for themselves, but for each other. 

FROSH: Covid has taught Coach Bill Hansen to be a more patient coach.  There are always things we can not control and Covid is a obviously a new one.   The Freshman coaching staff have learned to take it one practice at a time and to value each practice.  We had to think outside the box and find new ways to practice – not being able to use equipment (including a football) was a challenge but we adjusted.  The players benefited in a few ways. Having smaller groups has benefited the players by getting more individual attention.  By not having contact, we have spent more time on the fundamentals which improves them having a solid foundation. Players have had more time to learn plays both for offense and defense.  

The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.

In a typical year,  coaches are focused on Xs and Os, standout performances, key plays, and context in terms of what the games mean in the larger picture of the season. This season, that context has taken a new meaning. It’s such an unusual year for coaches, players, and fans. The most  positive thing about  Covid  is our Dons coaches. They are the big stars on the football field at the moment. A Peyton Manning quote is perfect to describe our coaches, “The most valuable player is the one who makes the most players valuable.” Since May, our coaches have been the super glue for our Dons, keeping them healthy, focused and unified.   Our coaches are our MVPs! The Acalanes parents shout loud and proud from the top of Mt. Diablo, THANK YOU! We know this year is likely to be one of the most challenging we have all faced. Thank you coaches for rising to the challenge, and we know you have been doing everything possible to help our Dons and build resilience. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and there is no doubt that we have extraordinary coaches.  

We give a BIG THANK YOU to our Acalanes Football Coaches!

Dons Runners Keep Getting Faster

Dons Runners Keep Getting Faster

Cross Country Completes Camp #2 with Time Trials at Newhall Park

Cross Country (5K & 2 miles) time trial update:

Props to all of our cross country runners showing up on last Saturday (Nov 14) at Newhall Park.  Congrats to David Barron for remaining Group 2 Champ; shout out to huge PRs: Ethan Chow, Logan Farzan, Lucas Chow, Jack Dunne, Ben Kokel, Nick Mitroff and Corina McTigue; hip-hip hurray to our first time PRs for Michael Weiss, Livia Davis, Chloe Boyle, Andrew Wartenberg.  Kudos for big improvement over Newhall Park 1: Dominic Basaldua, Loic Durand, Josh Evans, Ian Ho, Nicole Frigon and Lena Johnson.  Great job to all of our athletes. What a great season!  Rest up and see you all back out there in December! 

Cross Country Camp Update: Dons on the Run

Cross Country Camp Update:  Dons on the Run

Props to all of our cross country runners for getting up early on last Saturday (Oct 10) morning and showing up at Newhall Park for the second of three unofficial time trials.  We had a great turnout!  Congrats to Ethan Chow and Corina McTigue for huge Personal Records.  Great job to Dominic Basaldua, Josh Evans, Ian Ho and Elle Casselman for strong performances and near Personal Records times in early season.  Props to Lena Johnson spoiling Coach Ed Basaldua’s win by out kicking him.  Racing 101: Never let a 800m runner be within 50m of you in the last 200m of 5k race.  

Life without Acalanes Football we feel aimless, lost, and adrift– like a quarterback with no center, nachos without cheese or Beyonce without Jay-Z

Life without Acalanes Football  we feel aimless, lost, and adrift– like a quarterback with no center, nachos without cheese or Beyonce without Jay-Z

But the countdown has begun…

No Friday night lights?  No chants, no cheers, no superstitions?  No standing up for the kick-off and no high fives after every touchdown?  No team meals. No checking the weather on Monday to prepare for whatever climates we will sit in come on Friday. No Dons shirts,  no Acalanes Football hats.  No looking for parking in the parking lot. No snack shack with the smell of BBQ and popcorn in the air.  No blue #1  foam fingers. No Stanley kids hanging on the fences, watching the Big Dons play. We are left to find a way to entertain ourselves during the fall instead of having a built-in plan in place. We wait…we wait…we hope…we wait…. to hear the pre-game chant from Coach Burnsed telling his team, ‘It’s a great day to be a Don!’   

But the countdown has begun for the first scrimmage game in December with a big blue circle on December 30. We will continue to be strong, and resilient. We will eagerly await the sound of the whistle, the smell of the BBQ in the air, the knock of the shoulder pads, and the roar of the crowd. On this day, we will have our boys in their uniforms on. On this day, the Dons will return, and the Boys of Blue will be back on the field. We love Dons Football so much! In this week we will fluff up our blue pom-poms, pull out the folded up booster club bleacher chairs in the garage and heck, we might even dry clean our favorite Acalanes shirt to have it crisp, clean and ready to go! Look at your watches, take a look at your iphone…count it down to December 30. When Acalanes football returns, we will appreciate it more than ever….because everyday …IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE A DON!

Video: Dons Mom are BLUE-tiful!

Football gives them the experience of working as a team and of what it means to depend on the people around them and to feel the thrill of the win and the heartbreak of defeat—life lessons you learn best when you live them yourself. It’s exhilarating, fun and awesome to watch our boys play their hearts out. When you debrief after a game, you listen and teach as only a number-one mom-fan can do. Through sports and your guidance, you’re teaching your children the importance of being a team player, playing and acting selflessly.  Dons Moms are their kid’s biggest fan, and the truth is, you should be! And your Don knows it. That is how Dons Moms roll!

I not only miss the game, and the determination that our kids show, but I really miss my fellow Moms! – Liz Oh

Our football community can’t imagine a Fall without football, we are suffering from a case of culture shock with covid taking away football and trying to figure out what to do  on a Fall Friday Night?! For now the football  lights do not shine, the Dons hungry to play games and the moms crave to cheer on their Dons. I miss feeling close to my son—he knows I’m out there watching the game and supporting him, and it makes me feel like we have a connection, shared Laura Bergman. I miss the cool Friday nights in the stands and the energy of crowds keeping me warm. I miss seeing my son rise up and conquer goals with his teammates, his friends at his side, added in Ami Rowland. It is so true, Don Moms are  missing the energy, spirit in the stands on Friday Nights, the feeling of community and the thrill of a Don’s victory. 

We love you to the end zone and back-GO DONS!

Anyone can be a football mom, but ACALANES FOOTBALL MOMS take it to a high level. We asked a few Don Moms what it takes to be  a REAL Football Mom:

A “real” football mom cheers on the team in the stands, understands the game, and makes sure that their son’s uniform is clean or as clean as can be before the next football game –Angela White 

A ‘real’ football mom is to maintain a balance of them while staying grounded and not losing sight of the importance of academics-Gilly Malmquist 

A ‘real’ football mom yells louder than the ref’s whistle, loves when the other team’s quarterback is sacked for a lost of 15 yards, hugs and five highs when the announcer yells TOUCHDOWN ACALANES and Dons sweat is her favorite perfume on a Friday night!  –Jane Smith 

A “real” football mom is one who isn’t afraid to make a fool of herself in a blue wig for the sake of team spirit! -Jennifer Michlitsch

A ‘real’ football mom knows the rules of the game and comes dressed to games with ACA swag! –Anna Epppinger

A ‘real’  football mom is Passionate (ie air horns at the Marin Catholic game),  fun loving, and Always there for hugs (win or lose)-Liz Oh

A ‘real’ football mom wants the best for our boys and we support them no matter what -Laura Bergman

FIERCENESS.  FIRE.  FEROCITY.  PASSION. Absolute LOVE for our DONS sons!  These are the descriptors that comprise the captivating TEAM SPIRIT of ALL Acalanes DONS MOMS!   Our DONS PRIDE WILL NEVER FADE OR DIE!Gail Pearson

 

and hit them HARD!

A ‘real’ football mom has equal parts support, love, fear, and tolerance for smelly equipment-Ann Huchingson

A ‘real’ football mom loves the kids first and foremost and loves our school and community-Brenda Rossi 

 A ‘real’ football mom supports her son 100% whether that is yelling her head off, making sure his uniform is clean, listening to him retell each play, or reminding him it is always about the game and the team , not whether you win or lose. I am so proud of my DON! –Marianne Brent

A ‘real’ football mom has friendships that are  made in the bleachers, that  are irreplaceable. The closeness, our collective cheers, and the pride we all feel for our boys on the field-Sarah Carrillo

A ‘real’ Football Mom realizes that no matter how much bleach you use in your laundry, your son’s “white” pants will always be grey forever-Melissa Murphy

A ‘real’ football mom has a multifaceted job.  Our role is to at times lead the charge (rides, home, schedules, meals, family stuff) but most of the time our function is in the backdrop. Being a support system is my goal and here’s how I do it: Always cheer on the team whether they’re winning or losing, talk about the positives, and have fun- Dolorez Dumas-Aris

This Could Very Well Be THE Very Best Freshman Team in the School’s History States Coach Hansen

This Could Very Well Be THE Very Best Freshman Team in the School’s History States Coach Hansen

And you thought coaching high school football was all about Xs and Os, blocking, tackling and making sure these kids begin to learn something about what it means to be young men . That’s all true. But Coach Bill Hansen wants the Freshmen players to remember something about the year besides the final scores, the big plays…and that is friendships in brotherhood.

Some people call him Coach Hansen, but his fans call him Big Daddy. Photos from 2019

The biggest benefit of playing freshman football is the friendships made in the days before school even starts. Just a few weeks with your new teammates can cement friendships that will make that first day of walking on campus even better than it would be otherwise. The Freshman football head coach sets the tone to school and rolls out the red BLUE carpet for the new Dons.

Covid as we know changed up rolling out the blue carpet. Covid has taught Coach Hansen to be a more patient coach.  There are always things we can not control and Covid is a obviously a new one.   The Freshman coaching staff have learned to take it one practice at a time and to value each practice.  Coach Hansen and Freshman coaches only have a very limited time with our players each week and need to make each practice count.    
 Coach Hansen shares: We had to think outside the box and find new ways to practice – not being able to use equipment (including a football) was a challenge but we adjusted.  The players benefited in a few ways.   Having smaller groups has benefited the players by getting more individual attention.  By not having contact we have spent more time on the fundamentals which improves them having a solid foundation. Players have had more time to learn plays both for offense and defense.   What I am seeing is more players a whole are learning.     

This 2020 Freshman group is a large, a total of 52 strong, eager and enthusiastic Dons. This is the largest group Coach Hansen has ever coached.    Based on the Freshman coaching staff input and Coach Hansen‘s observations – talent wise – this could very well be the very best freshman team in the school’s history (insert fireworks exploding here). I hope we get to have a Freshman season, because it will be fantastic! It will be up to them to find the leaders this team needs to take this team to a league championship when they become Juniors. If this group can stick together there is no doubt they can be successful a team.   But it will be up to them to decide what they want.  They must decide if they want to put in all the hard work and long hours necessary to become a winning and a championship team, proudly states Coach Hansen.

Before Coach Hansen became freshmen head coach, Coach Young (JV head coach) and Coach Hansen coached the freshmen together for seven years. Coach Young praises Coach Hansen : In eleven years, I’ve never met a coach who cared more for the players than Bill. He cares about their family life, education, and self–esteem. He’s the real “Dad” of the program. The program, especially the players, are so lucky to have him. Some people call him Coach Hansen, but his fans call him Big Daddy.

Coach Hansen graduated in 1980 ‘from that school in Moraga’ and played under Head Coach Dan Hagan.  He also played under Gordon Finn, at Del Valle High School prior to its closing, as linebacker and fullback. Bill continued his football career at Cabrillo College in Aptos as a linebacker and graduated from California State University, Sacramento. Coach Hansen is in his seventh year as a coach at Acalanes with the previous five as defensive coordinator at at the freshman level. This is his second season as the freshman head coach.

Oldie, but goodie…Coach Hansen back in the day in
with football legends, Robert Newhouse Joe Theisman.

Coach Hansen and the Frosh Coaching Staff want to share this message to the Dons Football community:

With or without a season – this team is a WINNER!!!

We miss you!!  We hope that we can all be together as a team, a family and a community soon!  The boys are working so hard, with possibly no end in sight. We all know that’s difficult and each and every one of them has stepped up.  They’ve made all of the coaches so proud. 
My coaches and I would like to let each and every parent (especially the Moms) know how much we all appreciate the trust you’ve put in us in these uncertain times. Football is a tough game, but this year has been unique to say the least and we know how scary this can be and letting us coach your boys for a few hours a week has been a real honor. 

JV FOOTBALL: Never Underestimate the Power of Coach Young

JV FOOTBALL: Never Underestimate the Power of Coach Young

Before games, in the stretching line, Coach Young would walk down and hug every single player telling them that they would do great and that he loved them. This would really make a connection between the player and Coach Young. Players know Coach Young was going out of his way to let us know he believed in us: #4 Evan Malmquist, Running Back/Line Backer

Covid can not stop the JV Football Dons, especially not with Greg Young leading this crew. In late August, Coach Young was asked about covid and football:   I believe they’ll never take their high school sport or high school for granted. Our J.V. team is really working hard and driven to improve and succeed.  In small part it’s maturity, just due to this time in their lives.  In my heart, I think the maturity comes from the fact that they’ve lost so much, over the last six months, they’ll never take anything for granted. For most of them, they’ve lost one-fourth of their sports careers. Going forward, they’ll work hard not only for themselves, but for each other. 

This is what undefeated looks like-Acalanes JV Football 2019

Last year’s JV went undefeated with a total of 343 Acalanes points (this is not a typo, 343 is the correct total) and 18 (this is not a typo, only 18 that’s it!) points for their opponents. Out of nine games, seven were shutouts under the leadership of Coach Young. Coach Young carries more than just a clipboard with him on the field. He carries an abundant amount of passion for his Dons. Just ask powerhouse Anthony Ortale, offensive tackle and defensive lineman, who was part of the 2019 undefeated team about Coach Young: I believe Coach Young goes above and beyond with us. He reaches out, ensures all of us that we are enjoying the sport while making sure we are passionate and working to the best of our ability. My favorite coaching quality is how much he cares. There are coaches that coach football, but Coach Young coaches football while caring for us and having passion while coaching us.

The Acalanes 2019 JV Football team, under the guidance of head coach Greg Young and coaching staff, finished off their season with a perfect 9-0 record this season. Many of these young men have been playing sports together since they were 7 or 8 years old, and have developed such a wonderful bond, and level of camaraderie, that would be tough to match on any team. Coach Young and the JV coaching staff has helped direct that bond to the level it is now. 

From top to bottom, Coach Burnsed has put together a rock solid staff on all three Dons football teams (Varsity, JV and Freshman). Regarding the J.V. staff with Coach Young gives praises to Randy Henderson, who has been on the Dons football coach squad for five years. Coach Young shares: Randy is not much of a self-promotor, he’s kind, smart, and I believe the most underrated coach on the staff. He has a keen and focused offensive mind, and should be a head coach! Coach Young and Coach Bill Fraser have known each other for nearly twenty years, and this is their fifth year coaching together. On the field, last year was Coach Fraser ’s first experience as the Defensive coordinator. In nine games, The Dons gave up gave up 18 points, including seven shut-outs. In five games, the Dons did not give up one point in league! Off the football field, Coach Fraser is a contributor to the Lamorinda community. Coach Fraser was a MOL football organizer and leader for years, and is now head coach of Dons Ladies Lacrosse.

“Coach Young and all the coaches are making it happen for Dons during this difficult time. We want our kids in school, Dons back on the football field, fans in stands, but for now I am so grateful for being together, working hard and being happy, that is important to all of us” said a JV football parent with a big smile under her mask.

Even though the Dons have not practiced together as a whole, Coach Young can see the big picture:  We’ve set a goal to be undefeated, perfect, and I believe this team loves the game of football, and each other so much, that they’ll compete to a level, they never would have achieved, if not there had been no pandemic.

You want your son to be coached by this man because your son will learn more about life from the inspiration of Coach Young.  Here is how Coach Young explains it in one word: Competitiveness.  Make no mistake, football is a war. Every play is a battle, and you are a warrior out there. In 10,000 years of genetic human history, villages were made up of hunters & gatherers. The best hunters are the Warriors. They represented the village, something battling for their freedoms, if not their lives. Football players are modern day warriors, representing Acalanes and  Lafayette. They may not be fighting for freedom, but they are fighting for respect, confidence and self-esteem, for themselves and their team.    In order to succeed in this arena, you better hate to lose. If you do lose, pick yourself up, and battle again. It truly is a microcosm of life, and a tremendous life lesson.    If you’re not competitive, or accept losing, you’re in the wrong sport! describes Coach Young.

Maybe the 2020 JV Dons have not put on their pads and their uniforms are not dirty yet…touchdown high fives and knocking down opponents are on hold for the moment. But for now, Coach Young and the JV staff are still making a difference for our Dons… Never underestimate Coach Young and his JV Football Dons!

Varsity Coach Burnsed: The Football Legend

Varsity Coach Burnsed: The Football Legend

In 2017 when Coach Burnsed joined the Dons family, AHS quarterback Robby Rowell (now a quarterback for the California Bears) stated, “Coach Burnsed is a legend around Lamorinda”.

When you have over 40 years of coaching football, you have a coach with knowledge, a level-headed approach and experience. Our Acalanes varsity coach has all that and more. Throw in other adjectives like passionate, focused, positive, friendly, approachable and cooler than ‘Joe Cool’ that is Floyd Burnsed.

There are many qualities that encapsulate Coach Burnsed, he is a calm but inspiring leader who can help us keep our heads straight in a crazy game, and focus on the task at hand, #14 Graham Oh, 2019 & 2020 Varsity Running Back & Middle Linebacker

Some people try to find things in this game that don’t exist but football is only two things – blocking and tackling. Graham Oh has that figured out, as he takes down a Vintage Crusher.

A long-time Vallejo resident and football coach, Burnsed established himself as one of the top high school coaches in the nation by compiling a 154-62-2 record while winning 10 league championships and four North Coast Section championships. Burnsed was named Contra Costa County “Coach of the Year” three times, 1983 Champion “Coach of the Year”, the San Francisco 49ers 1996 “Coach of the Year”, the San Francisco 49ers 2019 “Coach of the Week”, and the North Coast Section “Coach of the Year” in 2000. He was inducted into the Miramonte Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.

Absolutely-A LEGEND!

Last year in 2019, SF 49ers PREP selects Floyd Burnsed of Acalanes High School as the  Coach of the Week 

When the Friday Night Lights illuminate across 94549, everyone convenes at Acalanes for the event of the week, Varsity football! Burnsed and his Dons pour it all out on the field in an effort to prevail.  Don fans pack the stands to support and cheer on student-athletes. There’s a genuine love and desire to see the team and players do well.

 I knew Coach Burnsed believed in me when I got my first start of the season, #8 Brady Huchingson, 2019 & 2020 Quarterback

Acalanes hasn’t missed a beat with (then junior), now senior Brady Huchingson at quarterback in the 2019 season. After last year’s standout quarterback Nick Kresnak, a University of Washington baseball commit, opted not to return for his senior season, the Dons turned to Huchingson. He proved to be a quick study, having completed 67.3 percent of his passes this season while mastering the position.

Acalanes football has always been about building a solid foundation for a young person’s life, based on principles and experiences that can only be taught through the game. It’s about cultivating genuine relationships between players, coaches and a community of fans and that is what Coach Burnsed does so very well.

There’s nothing like Acalanes football!

DONS FOOTBALL FANS ARE A BIG PART OF THE FOOTBALL FAMILY!  

But this year as covid dominates our lives, classrooms are quiet, hallways vacant, our football bleachers sit empty and the excitement of Fright Night Lights is put on hold as our community misses the blue magic on our football field. We asked Coach Burnsed what did you do last Friday night? I was watching two high school football games on ESPN, wishing that our players could’ve experienced the same thing. Yet, the covid pandemic  does not stop Burnsed’s  coaching or developing his Dons.  The pandemic  has taught Burnsed how important it is to have a strong, efficient varsity coaching staff:  We are in groups of 12 players and coaches have to stay with one group. It has been great to have a staff that is willing to put in the time to ensure our players have a great experience. I’ve also learned that we have to be able to cope, and live with, things that are beyond our control.

WE ARE PROUD OF OUR VARSITY-2019 DAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!

YOU BETTER ‘BLUE’IEVE IT! 
   
ACALANES FOOTBALL HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT BUILDING A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR A YOUNG PERSON’S LIFE,   BASED ON PRINCIPLES  AND  EXPERIENCES THAT CAN ONLY BE TAUGHT THROUGH THE GAME. IT’S ABOUT CULTIVATING GENUINE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PLAYERS, COACHES AND A COMMUNITY OF FANS. 
THANK YOU COACH BURNSED!

Our first Dons football game is four months away. The California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for high school athletics in the state, announced  in July a modified schedule for its sports due to the covid pandemic.  Coach Burnsed has taken advantage of this situation for better coaching with his staff, Burnsed shares, fortunately football is a sport in which a great deal of practice is spent in position groups.  We are able to really teach a lot of technique to each position. I think each player has benefited greatly from the practices and has been a great release for them with everything going on.

Coach Burnsed  goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the Dons  are prepared for Friday nights, with countless hours of film study and schematics instruction to simulate real-time game situations. Game knowledge and skills development is one of the essential parts of the game. Though the understanding of the game and expertise can be gathered through playing and observing skills developed through perseverance and arduous practice, and then Burnsed puts it all out on the field. What is happening in Burnsed’s head before the kick off?  I am thinking about the game plan, trying to anticipate how the game will unfold.  Our opening plays are scripted so I replay those in my mind a few times. The Dons might be on the field  for two hours every Friday night, but Burnsed is working with an around-the-clock effort.

My favorite Burnsed quote is “Hurry Hurry Hurry!” #5 Niko Cortessis, 2019 & 2020 Varsity Wide Receiver & Linebacker

Football is a highly competitive sport that requires a lot of physical and mental endurance. Niko Cortessis develops skills on and off the field with a competitive mindset. He is anxious to start the 2020-21 football season!

Many coaches serve as educators, mentors and more importantly, positive influences on many players, this is one of the strong attributes to Coach Burnsed. His vision in leading the program is to prepare athletes for the field, in the classroom, and as young adults. High school and football not only serve as learning experiences and opportunities to improve, they should also create enjoyable and memorable moments for each athlete. Coach Burnsed is proud of each young man who plays for the Dons. When asked what makes a great football player Burnsed replied, First of all, a good football player has to be coachable, believe in the system and care about his teammates.  After that, we look for dedication to the sport, athletic ability and his work ethic to become a better athlete.

Beat Campo Video: Acalanes took charge in every quarter of this game in 2019. Cougars struggled to catch the Dons, but could not. Don’s victory over the Cougars, 17- 7. Pregame planning shared by a Varsity player: My favorite pregame ritual that Coach Burnsed did for us is when he put together the video before our Campo game with a combination of graduated seniors and famous pro football players, motivating us to Beat Campo!

It’s a GREAT Day to be a DON!

ACALANES SUMMER TENNIS CLINICS IN FULL SWING

HAPPY CAMPER ON THE COURTS!

Our well regarded Girls and Boys tennis team Coach Drew has been busy on the courts helping students improve their tennis game. The clinics provide a small group setting to get lots of coaching attention for technical stroke work, point playing tactics and lots of muscle memory drill work to fine tune your game. Contact him to inquire about availability to join in on the socially distanced fun for the next series of camp clinics.

The 3 Week Camp
Dates: July 6th – July 24th, Monday to Friday
Time: Now 1pm-4pm 
Max Participants: 12

The 2 Week Camp
Dates: July 27th – August 7th, Monday to Friday
Time: 9am-12pm
Max Participants: 12  

tenniscoachdrew@gmail.com

Tentative Girls Varsity & JV Team tryouts are August 11-13th. Email Drew to join a mailing list distribution of important information.

Dons Football is Back: Bigger, Better and 100% Won-DON-derful!

Dons Football is Back: Bigger, Better and 100% Won-DON-derful!

HELLO SUMMER FOOTBALL!

What a year it’s been. Surely not one that any of us had planned for or expected. As we slowly move towards reopening and getting back to some sort of new normal, it’s important to focus as much as possible on positive experiences for our young men.

The Acalanes coaches, Andy (Touchdown Club) and Jane (Sports Booster) have said, Acalanes has a long history of football excellence. This is not only reflected in the win/loss column, but more importantly in the way it has molded the incredible players who have come through the program over the years.

The truth is, there really is nothing like the camaraderie and brotherhood of football. Other sports try to replicate it, but there is nothing like suiting up on Friday night and going to battle with your brothers while your friends and family cheer you on. Football is an intense sport that requires dedication, toughness and most importantly teamwork. Every single player plays a critical role in the success of the team, from the first summer workout through the last game of the year.

So let’s be thankful for the opportunity that we may have taken for granted before, with the start of summer practice this week, and truly appreciate the joy it provides our boys during this time of uncertainty. As Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights said many times, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose”.  Are you ready? Are you psyched? Then GO DONS!

Jeff Julian, Proud Acalanes Football Parent