YLHS Football Kicks Off

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YLHS Football

The home of YLHS Football's team, which is beginning a new season, is Shapell Stadium.

Blake Kingsbury, Photojournalist

The YLHS Varsity football team is once again off to a great start this season. The Mustangs are 3-0 so far this year with wins at home vs. Valencia High School and Orange High School, and an away win at Capistrano Valley High School last Friday. This year’s team features a lot of familiar faces from last year: QB Gio Micallef (12), RB Keaton Haddad (12), WR/CB Dawson Kane (12), WR Emmit Gossman (11), G/C Nathan Cardona (12), G/DT Tyler Kent (12), and DT Tristen Cramer (11) are some of the notable returnees. When asked about how coaching this year’s team has been, Mustangs head coach Jeff Bailey said, “It’s been great. We’ve got a terrific group of seniors that work hard, are motivated, and are coachable. They’re a fun group to be around.”

This year’s version of YLHS Varsity football is not entirely dominated by seniors and juniors like usual however. There is a fair amount of sophomores who have made the team this season. “Nathan has done a great job mentoring the young guys on the offensive line,” said Bailey, referring to G/C Nathan Cardona, who recently commited to play college football at Boise State University. Cardona, who is playing his third season for the Varsity squad, has had a tremendous impact on the Mustang’s offense. “Nathan has been the leader of our offensive line both vocally and by example on the field. He’s had an outstanding season so far and he had one last year as well,” Bailey said proudly. 

RB Keaton Haddad has also shined this season for Yorba Linda, even while being asked to take on a big part of the offensive gameplan. “Keaton has shown terrific mental and physical toughness throughout all that has been asked of him,” Bailey added. QB Gio Micallef and WR/CB Dawson Kane can not be forgotten as they both also have performed magnificently for the team this year. 

Fan support has been outstanding for the squad this year. When asked about his opinion on the support this season, coach Bailey went on to say, “Since we have seven home games it’s been phenomenal. I’ve looked up at The Stable a few times and seen lots of team support. The kids feed off that. We even had a pretty good crowd for our away game last week at Capistrano Valley High School.” 

The Mustangs Varsity squad, as always, hopes to win the CIF Championship this season. And with phenomenal crowd support, star players in Keaton Haddad, Nathan Cardona, and Gio Micallef, and a superb coach in Jeff Bailey they have a great shot at that title this year. Make sure to support the YLHS Varsity football team at home next Friday at YLHS vs. Brea Olinda High School, on the road this Friday at El Dorado High School, and for the remainder of the football season!