Although the Madera Coyote football season won’t officially kick-off for another month, preparations begin early for the upcoming season under first-year head coach Yosef Fares.
The Coyotes will host the Coyote Kick-Off Dinner on Aug. 6 at the San Joaquin Winery, 19297 Road 26, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 each and includes a tri-tip dinner, music and dancing.
The team is also using this as an opportunity for the alumni to attend with their spouses to talk about old times and also connect with members of this year’s coaching staff.
“One of the things I talked about in my interview to get this job was we want to connect the old alumni and the community excited about the football program,” Fares said. “There’s so many years of tradition at this school. We want people to understand that we are one of the oldest schools in the Central Valley. We want the alumni from back then to be excited about what we’re doing. We are doing something very special right now.”
Fares is excited about the upcoming season, his first as a head coach after years assisting at Bullard-Fresno.
“I’m very excited for the season just on the fact that I got a group of kids that are showing up at 6 a.m.,” he said. “We have one or two misses, but they are working their butts off. They are doing everything I ask. They are showing up, working hard, being respectful and are getting coached up real hard. They are accepting it and are trying to do the right things.”
However, Fares knows that one of the ways to make his season is to be able to connect with the alumni and community.
“We want the alumni to get excited about Coyote football and the new direction and vision we are trying to get done in Madera,” he said. “We want them to be excited about what we’re putting them out there. We want the classes from the past to be excited about what we’re doing. It’s their team out there, as well.”
The kick-off dinner is one way to get the alumni and community connected with the football program and Fares says that he will have more opportunities to honor the alumni and community in the future.
“This first year, things are flying at me,” he said. “I’m trying to get the program structured and culture organized so we’re breeding the right behavior. As each year comes around, we will establish some kind of alumni and community deal. We want to honor our past Coyotes as much as possible. We have those retired numbers and want to have them come back to be honored. We want to make sure the community and alumni feel a part of what we’re doing out here.”
Social hour begins at 6:30 p.m. with no-host bear, wine and refreshments. There will also be a silent and live auction. Tickets can be purchased from any Coyote football player or coach or at Lee’s Concrete, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. before Aug. 2.
“We want as many as we can get there,” Fares said. “The more the better. The more we get, the more goes into the program and the more we can do for these kids. So far, the community has done great. We have been able to buy the kids spirit packs. We want to try to get these kids team meals at all levels for each game. All this takes money. We want to be able buy good footballs and practice equipment. Things that make them excited because these boys work hard. The only way to do that is to raise money and the best way is through the community and alumni.”