2017-07-12 / Sports

Mendoza takes over Peck football

Adjusting ‘spread’ offense to 8-man game
BY DALE BALL
SPORTS EDITOR


Fidel Mendoza Peck coach Fidel Mendoza Peck coach PECK – Many college and high school programs, in the last two or three decades, have switched over to the potent ‘spread offense.’ which presents a problem for defenses. The spread can lead to big plays in the passing game, but also can allow some gaps for a running game.

That’s part of the hope for the Peck Pirates this fall under Fidel Mendoza. The former Croswell- Lexington assistant coach was hired this spring to replace Rob McDaniel, who will move on to be an assistant coach at Yale this fall. McDaniel, in the last six seasons, produced a 44-19 overall record, which included a 2013 MHSAA state championship in 8-man football competition.

Mendoza has coached a little bit of everything at Cros-Lex in the past six seasons. He has coached quarterback and running backs, defensive line, and special teams.

Now, Mendoza, a Croswell resident, has a chance to use all of his past experiences with the Pirates.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m excited about the opportunity, No. 1,” remarked Mendoza.

“Challenges are obviously ahead – converting from an 11-man spread offense (at C-L) to an 8-man spread. Plus, right now, we anticipate having a JV and varsity at Peck. I think that there is an excitement about the season, and that’s what we really want coming in.”

Joining Mendoza as assistant coaches will be Jeremy Abrego (defensive coordinator), Jerrod Burgess (offensive line coach, plus helping with play calling), and Joe Mini (JV coach and asst. Varsity coach).

I did bring in a staff that I’m really happy with,” added Mendoza.

The Pirates, under Mendoza, did get time on the field with team camp in June and now is involved in seven-on-seven scrimmages, all under the rules of the Michigan High School Athletic Association. Peck will host Cros-Lex and Sandusky in seven-on-sevens July 18.

He believes that he will have approximately 30 players, JV and Varsity, together. Right now, he expects to have 14-16 players on the varsity to start the fall campaign.

Peck’s first full, official fall practice will begin on August 7.

Mendoza, meanwhile, is ready to take the reins of the Pirates’ football program.

“This was a tough decision for me, with being at Cros-Lex for so long, and being on that staff> So, I’m uprooting a bit. But, I’m happy with the decision.

He continued, “I’m happy with the decision. I’ve always dreamed about being a head coach. Peck is a great community and they’ve welcomed me with open arms. My family, my older kids, are all very supportive. And, my fiancé, Audra, is also helping support this decision.”

The varsity career opener for Mendoza, and the season opener for his Pirates, will be Thursday, August 24 at Lawrence for a non-league encounter. His first home game as the Peck coach will be against Caseville on Aug. 31.

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