To see the smiles, the happiness, the genuine sense of achievement from players, fans and fellow coaches helped explain how special a moment it was after Sherman Oaks Notre Dame coach Kevin Rooney was presented his own customized football jersey following his team’s 38-19 victory over Mission Hills Alemany on Friday night.
The jersey was No. 300 for victory No. 300 in his 38-year coaching career at Notre Dame. He’s one of only three high school football coaches in California to win 300 games at the same school. The others are Bob Ladouceur at Concord De La Salle and Steve Denman at Tehachapi.
“It was nice, thoughtful,” Rooney said Saturday morning as he went back to work preparing for a Mission League game on Friday against La Puente Bishop Amat.
Notre Dame officials had hoped to present the jersey to Rooney last week, but the Knights lost to Loyola, 28-21. They had to keep their plans secret for another week.
The humble head coach wanted to make sure that assistant Joe McNab, who has been with him for 37 years, got credit too.
“He, more than anybody, deserves to be recognized because he’s been there for almost every one of those victories,” Rooney said. “It really is a coaching team. It’s like having two head coaches.”
Big week for quarterbacks
It was a great weekend for quarterbacks.
Jaden Casey of Calabasas had eight touchdown passes against Valencia. Chase Petersen of Tesoro passed for six touchdowns and ran for one against Los Alamitos. Matt Corral of Long Beach Poly passed for five touchdowns and ran for two against Long Beach Wilson.
Transfers become eligible
Monday is freedom day for those football players who have had to sit out for a month after transferring without moving. And there’s going to be some big winners this coming week.
No team in the City Section should benefit more than Carson, which is 3-2 and opens Marine League play on Friday against City Section favorite Narbonne.
Sultan Moala, an All-City defensive back-running back from Banning, becomes eligible. So does another standout defensive back, Denaylan Fuimaono, from Long Beach Cabrillo.
Others on the Colts team are becoming eligible, too. All have been practicing, and coach Arnold Ale won’t waste any time putting them in the lineup.
“We’ll have a different team, but it’s going to take some time to get into playing shape,” Ale said.
Crenshaw, which is emerging as a prime challenger to Narbonne, finally will get to use quarterback Isaiah Johnson, a transfer from Los Angeles. Last season, Johnson helped the Romans win the Division II championship.