By Stephen Ramirez
LONG BEACH — Tristan Meyer came to La Mirada High School four years ago as Erik Meyer’s little brother.He’ll leave next spring having carved his own niche in Matadore football lore.
The younger Meyer, who leads the Matadores when they host Edison for the CIF Southern Section Division 3 title on Friday, will be the first La Mirada quarterback to start divisional championship games in back-to-back seasons. He’s also only one of three Matadores signal-callers to win a CIF-SS title, joining Daniel Poncedeleon, who did it in 2009, and his coach, Mike Moschetti, who won La Mirada its first CIF-SS title in 1992. Tristan Meyer helped beat La Serna for the Southeast Division championship last season en route to the CIF State III-AA title.
Brother Erik Meyer guided La Mirada to the 2001 Division VI championship game. He then starred at Eastern Washington and the arena league. He also La Mirada’s quarterback coach.
His dad, Kenny Meyer, has been La Mirada’s freshman coach for more than 30 years.
“He’s great,” Moschetti said of Tristan during Monday’s CIF-SS Press Conference and Luncheon at The Grand Event Center. “His dad has been the freshman coach here for three decades. He coached me when I was a freshman. His brother was a great quarterback, so before he (Tristan) was walking, he grew up with a football in his hand, watching film.
“He’s had a great year. He’s a humble kid, a tough kid. He knows what we are trying to do offensively. We’re proud of him, and hopefully, he’s got another good game in him this week.”
Tristan Meyer has had a lot of good games this season and last. He ranks among the passing leaders in the section with 2,208 and 35 touchdowns, and since moving into the starting role early last season, he has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and 62 touchdowns.
He’s added his own chapters to the Book of Meyer.
“My dad as coached me since I was growing up and my brother has played a big part for me and success we’ve had here,” Tristan Meyer said. “He’s been working with me since I was a little kid and has been building me up for moments like this.”
Tristan Meyer’s biggest attribute might not be his physical gifts, but his demeanor, which came into play two weeks ago when the Matadores rallied from a 21-point deficit in the second half to score a 32-31 victory over region rival La Serna in the quarterfinals.
Meyer, with La Mirada trailing by two points, drove the Matadores 52 yards in the final minute to set up a winning 30-yard field goal by sophomore Brandon Petruescu with 12 seconds left. He keyed the drive with two fourth-down completions to Elijah Hicks, the second covering 30 yards to the La Serna 13.
“That was a great game,” Meyer said. “La Serna was a great football team, and just coming back to win that game gave us a lot of momentum for these games (the semifinal win over Los Alamitos and Friday’s title game vs. Edison).
“It gives us the confidence that if we’re down, we know how to react, because we’ve been in that situation.”
It’s type of calmness with confidence that Moschetti likes about his quarterback.
“He’s just a competitor,” Moschetti said. “He’s not the biggest kid in the world, but he’s like a coach on the field. He knows exactly what we are doing offensively, he knows exactly what (the defense) is doing. He’s our leader, he plays injured. He does what he’s supposed to do and leads this team.”
And now he hopes to guide La Mirada to consecutive CIF-SS titles for the first time in school history. In will also be the Matadores fourth CIF-SS crown in 11 final-round appearances.
“It would be awesome (to win back-to-back titles),” said Meyer, who has committed to Sacramento State. “It’s what we’re shooting for, bringing the championship back to La Mirada.”