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Coyotes ready for 2017 season

Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune

Andy Beyer reacts to winning the head-or-tails 50/50 game. Beyer won $188.


Second-year Madera Coyote football coach Yosef Fares talked about changing the culture for the Coyotes at the annual Madera Coyote Kickoff Dinner.


Fares spoke in front of more than 120 people Saturday at the San Joaquin Winery in a fundraising event that marked the end of the summer and the beginning of the season, which starts Friday with the Steak and Dogs scrimmage in Memorial Stadium, beginning at 4 p.m. with freshmen, 5 p.m. for junior varsity and 7 p.m. for the varsity.


“I thank you so much for continuing to come out and support this team,” Fares said. “When your kids graduate, I want you to come back and help build this event up. This is a huge celebration of what the coaching staff and kids have put in.”


Fares talked about changing the culture of the football team and has been working since January to build his team up.


“We’re very excited about the new year,” he said. “We’re talking about building a new culture. The culture is that we want to build is that we are a hard-working program. That’s the No. 1 cornerstone for us. This group of kids started in January at 6 a.m. This group of kids are getting after it, investing their time. We are grinding these kids strength-wise, agility-wise and cardio-wise. We’re making these kids working very hard.”


Fares’ two cornerstones to building the foundation are hard work and accountability.


“We are holding these kids accountable for their actions,” he said. “We preach to them very often that you have freedom of choice, but not freedom of consequences. We are making sure they understand. If they choose to miss a practice, there’s extra conditioning. If they show up on time and doing the right thing, they earn their locker. We’re not letting these kids into the locker room until they earn it. We think that those two cornerstones will transfer to them and will turn them into great citizens in Madera.”


Fares has seen quite an improvement since he first arrived a year ago.


“There’s no question that this group has worked extremely hard,” he said. “Where we’re at now to when I first got here is night and day. Their football IQ has risen. Their physical strength has risen, but we’re still fighting through some old habits. When we get into big-time games, we can’t be intimidated. We worked harder than a lot of these teams.


“This not a microwave job — it’s a slow cooker. We’re going to get this thing going. When we get it going, it’s going to be good. We’re excited about it. We’re working hard. We are trying to build the Coyote name back to where it was at.”


Fares ended his speech by thanking everyone for attending and working hard to make this event bigger. However, he had one more special thank you to hand out.


“This is my first time out with adults since my daughter (Brooklynn) was born and the first time not watching “Moana” at night,” he said. “I want to thank my wife (Casey). She is at home when I am doing these long hours with your kids. It takes a special woman to let her husband coach other kids and spend time with those kids.”