Improving Ganesha football team looking to move to 5-1

Don’t look now but the Ganesha Giants are 4-1 with a good probability of making that 5-1 when they host winless Western Christian for Homecoming on Friday

Coach Don Cayer’s team was 4-6 a year ago so the prospect of a winning season is welcomed. Cayer isn’t getting too far ahead of himself because last year the Giants were 4-2, only to lose their last four games of the season.

The measuring stick is that Cayer’s schedule is the same as last year with the exception of one team so he thinks he can assess where his team stands.

“The big difference is last year we were 4-2 and we could have been 2-4,” he said, noting two 7-6 wins. “This year we’re beating these teams convincingly. For the first time in a long time here we have games on the schedule we should win.”

Junior quarterback John Mosqueda has led the resurgence. He has passed for 404 yards but is the leading rusher as well. After that it has been a successful running back by committee with seniors Anthony Longsworth, Mauriyon O’Brien and Jaylon Dean, with Dean also an integral factor on the other side of the ball.

The receiving core is also a balanced one.

The Giants start Miramonte League play on Oct. 9 against Bassett which also also provide a litmus test. Last year Ganesha lost to Bassett 42-0 and it came on the heels of a loss to Garey.

“We couldn’t have been any flatter that game than if we had been plowed over by steamroller,” Cayer said. “Playing them the first game will tell us exactly where we stand.”

Cayer still singles out Pomona as the team to beat.

“The graduated some players but they’re still the big dog until someone knocks them off.”


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Ganesha football program taking small steps forward

When you’re football program isn’t steeped in tradition, you have to appreciate the smaller signs of progress. Such is the case with the Ganesha Giants.

Coach Don Cayer’s team improved from 3-7 in 2013 to 4-6 last fall. But they were also more competitive in games they lost.

Unfortunately modest improvement could have been more significant improvement but Ganesha lost the last four games after a 4-2 start.

Ganesha Football

“After awhile you get sick of being everyone’s doormat,” Cayer said. “We don’t talk about wins and losses. It’s about improvement and getting better each day. If  you do that hopefully it shows in the win column.”

There are other small signs of progress that haven’t shown up in the win column yet. Cayer is excited about his incoming freshman class and the number of players coming from his feeder schools who aren’t going elsewhere.

Also, Cayer, who also serves as the school’s athletic director, says his team had three home games where the team drew 1,000 spectators.

“It may not sound like much to some but I remember games when I was an assistant and you could count the number of people in the stands at kickoff,” he said.

The biggest on-field problem with the team last year was offense. Two of the games the team won were by the score of 7-6. Most troublesome was the offensive line. In fact it was such a sore spot that Cayer has taken over responsibility for the part of the team this year.

“Now it’s solely my fault if it’s still an issue,” he said.

The good news is that Cayer has nine returning starters on offense are seniors.  One of those who is not a senior is junior quarterback John Mosqueda, one of the players in the revolving door at that position last year.

Cayer admits Mosqueda just wasn’t ready last year but he tried everyone out of necessity and likes the improvement he has seen him thus far.

The strength of the offense appears to be wide receiver with a core that includes senior Marcione Harvey, Brian Chisholm, Albert Lewis and marcus Cooper. Harvey was in the program as an underclassmen, but moved to Arizona briefly, only to return before the school year was over. He is the speedster in the bunch.

Jimmy Lopez and Anthony Longsworth, both seniors, should see time in the backfield.

There will be several players seeing action on both sides of the ball with Longsworth and Chisholm also doing time in the secondary.

The top performer should be senior linebacker Mauriyon O’Brien, a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder whom Cayer says is drawing Division I interest.

Seniors Miguel Puentes and Samuel Davis will be on both sides of the line.

The schedule has been downgraded a bit with San Gabriel and Western Christian the new foes. The season begins on Aug. 28 at Mark Keppel, a team the Giants defeated last year.

The first home game will be the following week, Sept. 4, against Gladstone. Those were the two teams the Giants beat 7-6 last year.

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Cayer named athletic director at Ganesha

Don Cayer has been named athletic director at Ganesha High School.

He previously served as a teacher at Fremont, which doesn’t have athletics. He was also football coach at Pomona for two years before moving over to Ganesha. He served as assistant athletic director last year so the responsibilities won’t be new to him.

Cayer is also the school’s head football coach, a position he took a year ago. The school district has restructured its staff positions so Cayer will have much of the school day to get administrative things done before heading to practice.

“It  should work out. At least that’s the plan,” he said.

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