Former La Mirada players come back to coach

Good head coaches talk all the time about the value of their staff,
those individuals whose reponsibilities concentrate on not only
developing a phase of the program but integrating it in the overall
picture. A term commonly used is “family,” as in “we’re like a family,
all working together.”

When La Mirada athletic director Kim Brooks says it, it runs deeper
than many schools. The Matadores will have new leadership in co-head
coaches Mike Moschetti and Ollie Lynch, with former long-time coach
Brooks sort of overseeing the whole project.

The big thing here is that along with Moschetti, nearly all of the
varsity assistant coaches are former La Mirada players. Moschetti
quarterbacked one of coach John Mele’s CIF finalist teams before going
on to Mt. San Antonio College and then Colorado, where some of his
passing records are still allive.

Mike Cardona was a Matadores lineman before playing at Purdue
University. He was an assistant with Brooks under Mele for nine seasons,
and after a brief stint away, he returns to coach the offensive line
this season.

Erik Meyer, the Daily News Player of the Year his senior season,
moved on to Eastern Washington where he set numerous passing records and
was presented with the most prestigious honor in NCAA Division I-AA Football — the Walter Payton Award — given annually to the top player in I-AA by The Sports Network.
He was the 12th player in Division 1-AA history to pass for 4,000 yards in
a season (4,003) and the 17th to pass for more than 10,000 in his career
(10,261). He’s helping with the Matadores quarterbacks and offense.

Chris Rudiger was one of the La Mirada’s all-time finest athletes, a standout
at linebacker/fullback in football and as a baseball outfielder. He was
scholarshipped by Stanford and was on the varsity football roster as a
freshman with a promising future before a neck injury early that season
ended his career. He’s coaching the Matadores linebackers.

Hugo Corral rushed for 2,000 yards for La Mirada’s 1996 CIF
championship finalist team. He’s handling the Matadores’ junior varsity
this year.

“In our preparations for the season, we’re doing a lot of things the
same way we did them when these coaches were doing them in school here,”
Brooks said before practice Thursday. “It’s good because the kids can
see where it got (the coaches), and the coaches know what the kids are
going through.

“There’s a lot more to La Mirada football than just coaching and
playing (in the arena). It’s about discipline not only on the field but
off the field, on campus, in the classroom, in the community, and
upholding the reponsibilities of not just representing ourselves but the
school and the community.”
Watching the Matadores practice, it is obvious commaraderie is thick,
commitment appears solid, and expectations reign supreme.

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