More than 100 people attended Saturday’s Madera Coyote football kick-off dinner at the San Joaquin Winery. (Tyler Takeda)
With less than a week left before the annual Blue-White scrimmage, first-year Madera Coyote football coach Yosef Fares raised funds with the team’s annual kick-off dinner at San Joaquin Winery.
Fares spoke at the dinner about how he wanted to use Saturday’s event as a way to connect the community and alumni together.
“I’m very excited to have all of you here tonight,” he said.
Madera High School athletic director John Fernandez introduced Fares before a crowd of about 125 people.
“This is an exciting time in Coyote football,” Fernandez said. “We’re in a new direction. We hired a man that will bring new energy, passion, desire and structure to our football program. We know he’s going to do a fantastic job. It’s already shown tonight with his leadership.
“It was a process to find the right person for our program. We want our football team to be competitive week in and week out. The kids have bought in because of his leadership. He’s a man of character and integrity. That’s what we want for our school, want to lead our young men and want to represent our community.”
Both Fares and Fernandez spoke about bringing back Coyote pride to the football program.
“This is what tradition is about,” Fernandez said. “We’re getting that Coyote pride and that’s something our principal is preaching to our school. We hired a man that will live that. Our kids have bought in. You walk around on campus, you see bodies completely changed.”
“I’m very excited about the tradition at this school,” Fares said. “We want to make sure to tap into that and tap into the community and alumni to put a product on the field that you’re proud of. Not only are we going to put a product on the field, but put a product in the community.”
Fares also said he is installing life lessons of hard work and the concept of earning what they deserve to his team.
“These kids are learning a lot of life lessons right now,” he said. “We’re teaching them hard work. This is a team of juniors and seniors that have earned a spot on this team. They earned their position and a spot among their brothers. We want to make sure these kids understand hard work at a young age. They have come a long way since I first started. They are starting to become a brotherhood.”
Fares is looking forward to his first season as a head football coach with Friday’s Blue-White scrimmage and his team’s scrimmage with Clovis on Aug. 19 and the first game against Hanford on Aug. 26.
“They finished summer camp in great fashion,” Fares said. “We have the blue-white scrimmage this Friday and that will be the first time you will see these players. These kids are putting in hours that a lot of teenagers their age wouldn’t do.”
Fares also wanted to thank the welcoming Madera community.
“The Madera community has been so welcoming to me and my wife,” he said.