New Head Coach looking to improve program consistency and student discipline
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
Filling someone else’s shoes can be pretty hard. As for Tahquitz High School’s new Head Football Coach Stephon Pace, having ideas for improving on what his predecessor Damon Dustin succeeded in helps his case.
With Dustin becoming the Head Coach at Great Oak in Temecula, Pace is now in charge of pushing the Titans through. Pace outlined his goals for the 2018 football season as he took a break from practice on Monday Aug 6 to interview with The Valley Chronicle. When asked how he feels about taking over for Dustin, Pace says “It depends on the day of the week; Some days good, some days bad. It’s good! The kids are excited, we’re excited about the upcoming season.”
Pace is starting out his tenure with 56 Titans, five returning offense and three returning defense, under his watchful eyes. Among the things he’s watching out for are:
Improving offense. “We never have the big offensive lineman kids that the other schools have, so we’re working around it. But we’re competing.”
Accountability. “Wins and losses will come… I mean, we’re not basing our season off of whether we win more games than last year or whether we lose more games; We’re worried about the overall program and how we’re acting as citizens.”
Character. “Character is probably number one; These kids were a little loose at times last year, so we’re trying to eliminate… (them) being about themselves.”
In addition to reminding his team that there’s no “I” in “TEAM”, Pace takes into account the unique environment his field is situated in. For those who aren’t aware, Tahquitz’ football stadium is built into a mountain. These circumstances creates a northward breeze within the field, which Pace is looking to get his team accustomed to. “It’s a part of your home field!” he says.
These excited Titans are among the players Pace is most excited about:
Junior Travis Booth, running back/linebacker, says the intensity of the game is most appealing to him. “Scoring touchdowns, getting a lot of tackles” are part of that. Booth says his dad got him into football at an early age. Booth also plays baseball for the Titans in the spring!
Senior Marcos Arrevala, left tackle/nose guard, is looking to let loose his energetic spirit. “Just playing my last year and getting ready to hit everything that’s in my way!” He looks forward to making his mom, sister and brother proud.
Senior RJ Young, the QB, wants to bring 100 percent effort this season, for the love of the game. “Just playing every game, making it to playoffs and doing my best” are his goals. Young grew up watching the game, and now his parents and sister get to watch him do his thing.
Senior Doug Osoimalo, wide receiver/outside linebacker, is trying to make his older brothers’ encouragement pay off: “They’ve pushed me to play football since I was a little kid.” Osoimalo says he started in Pop Warner. Today, he’s looking to improve Tahquitz’ image every day.
The Titans got their first chance to make Pace proud, as they headed to Moreno Valley to cast their shadows over the Vista del Lago Ravens.