L.A. Times All-Star football team: Coach of the Year
This story is part of our L.A. Times 2021 All-Star football team coverage. Read the full series here.
Distraction after distraction. Obstacle after obstacle. Somehow, some way, Jason Bornn of Saugus kept his football players united and patient enough that they were ready when the green light was given on a spring football season.
Saugus went 5-0, handed Valencia its first Foothill League loss in 12 seasons and won the league title. Mission accomplished in creating a memorable abbreviated season for his seniors that had to deal with a campus shooting in 2019, COVID-19 in 2020 and learning from a computer from home for months with no guarantee there would be a football season.
Through it all, Bornn could control one thing: keeping a positive attitude.
“The biggest thing peddled was hope,” he said. “There were dark days. It didn’t look good in January.”
Through videoconferences, he kept his players informed and reminded them to be ready. They listened. With only limited practice opportunities, the season started fast and Saugus never looked back, including a 21-7 win over Valencia that ended the Vikings’ league winning streak at 46 games.
“It would have been easy to say, ‘I quit,’” Bornn said of his players during COVID-19 restrictions. “They held out hope.”
The Times’ All-Star football team includes players of the year Matayo Uiagalelei, back of the year Zevi Eckhaus and lineman of the year Andrew Madrigal.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.