High School Sports

Football: Former Taft Coach Matt Kerstetter has a day to remember

Antwaun Woods of USC, Michael Bercovici of ASU and Matt Kerstetter
Antwaun Woods, left, Matt Kerstetter and Michael Bercovici.
(Joey Artigue)

Former Woodland Hills Taft Coach Matt Kerstetter has never had so much fun on a weekend trip with his wife and two young kids -- ever.

He woke up in Houston at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, flew to Los Angeles, drove to the Coliseum and watched his former quarterback, Michael Bercovici, pass for five touchdowns, including the game-winning Hail Mary pass to defeat USC, 38-34. On the same field was Antwaun Woods, also one of Kerstetter’s former players, playing defensive line for USC.

“Oh my Lord, how cool is that,” Kerstetter said.

Kerstetter sat near the 50-yard line next to Bercovici’s parents and Chris Rizzo, his former Taft assistant.


“I said when it was 34-31 that Berco’s second start for us at Taft was a 38-35 win over Notre Dame and they’re going to win this game,” he said. “When it happened, everyone was going bonkers and high-fiving. The irony was my first game in the Coliseum was the Dorsey-Taft game where they blocked the punt with seven seconds left.

“It was amazing, and to be there for it as a spectator and proud former coach and see those guys afterward.... You’re bubbling over with excitement for one guy and the other guy walks out of the locker room crushed. Then you go back into coach mode.”

Kerstetter was the coach at Taft for four years. Bercovici and Woods were teammates as seniors in 2010. Kerstetter is now an assistant coach at Westfield High in Houston.

He also noted that Woods pick up a personal foul for a late hit on Bercovici. What was that all about?


“He said, ‘Man, I had to get to him,’” Kerstetter said. “Berco said that was one of the hardest hits he’s ever taken.”

Here’s the link to the top 10 plays in college football last week, and the top two involve former Taft High players coached by Kerstetter.



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