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  • Writer's pictureHugo Traverso

Cardinal Newman Gets Off to 5-2 Start Behind New Coach Richard Sanchez

Richard Sanchez is the new Football Coach at Cardinal Newman High School. Newman is coming off a State Championship in 2019, but lost their coach, Paul Cronin, to Windsor High School. Cronin has taken the Jags to a 7-0 record and will be facing Newman in Windsor on October 22, 2021. Coach Sanchez is a former college coach for colleges like San Diego State, Valparaiso and Sacramento State. He also coached for Southeastern University in 2020 and went 5-1. He has coached on all sides of the ball which makes him a good sign for Newman.

Newman opened their 2021-22 season with a hard game against San Leandro, but lost 20-17. Lucas Knechtle was 10 for 18 with 85 yards, but had 2 interceptions. Coach Sanchez wanted to get turnovers under control because it cost them that game. They rebounded with a win over Vacaville and limited their turnovers. Santino Acevedo broke out in the rushing column with 115 yards on 11 carries. He had all 3 of Newman's TDs and took them to a 20-13 win. Newman held off Vintage in their 3rd game and Santino had an incredible game. He had 159 yards on 16 carries and 3 TDs to lead Newman to a 36-29 win. Lucas Knechtle had 119 yards, was 12 for 19 and had 2 passing TDs in Newman's 37-21 win. Knechtle also had 55 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries. Santino Acevedo had 88 yards on 11 carries and 2 touchdowns. Newman was 3-1 heading into a hard game against St. Mary's in Stockton. He said this about keeping the 3-1 start up:

"We've got to continue to improve and we've got to make sure that we keep our boys healthy because we're not very thick at certain positions. We've got a few guys going both ways, and the season will take a toll on them. I'm glad we have a bye week coming up, so hopefully we put our best foot forward tonight against St. Mary's, come out healthy, and get ready for league. It takes a lot from coaches and the players as you care about taking care of their bodies because every week we're getting worn down. We can recover in this bye week and move forward."

St. Mary's shutdown Newman's passing, limiting them to 87 yards with 1 touchdown and 1interception. They had trouble limiting Santino though, as he ran for 147 yards over 15 carries and 1 touchdown. Newman lost the game, 34-14, and needed to bounce back for their first league game in Ukiah. Acevedo broke out in that game with 123 yards on 14 carries and 3 touchdowns. Knechtle went 14 for 20 for 196 yards and 2 TDs which led Newman to a 41-16 win. Newman had a big game against Maria Carillo, going into the Windsor game, the biggest game of the year. Newman dominated Carillo on all sides of the ball with Acevedo having 121 yards on 11 carries with 2 TDs. Knechtle was 11 for 19 with 137 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Newman won 34-10. It is going to be a hard game for Newman when they face Windsor, a 7-0 team with Newman's old coach, Paul Cronin. Cronin lead the 2019 Newman team to a CIF Division 3 State Championship. He left Newman for Windsor in 2020 to help the Jaguars organization.

Newman's top player is Santino Acevedo. Acevedo has 807 yards off of 85 carries and has 16 TDs in 2021. As a MLB, he has 60 total tackles (44 solo) and 7 TFLs along with 3 sacks in 2021. Acevedo has 1 pick this year that he ran back 65 yards for a touchdown against Carillo. Acevedo is only a junior and is the heart of the team. Sanchez said this about him:

"He leads the team in tackles and rushing. He's one of the critical ones that is beat up every single week because it takes a lot of hits and gets a lot of reps in a game. When it comes to him, we got to get better at inside zone because he's a downhill runner. He runs a stretch really well, but we got to be able to hit the backdoor sometimes in inside zone."

Newman has some great players with him that are there for the next 2-4 years. The Cardinals look good under Coach Sanchez.

A photo of Rob Sanchez (Credit: Press Democrat)

Post Article Notice: The Newman @ Windsor game was cancelled/postponed due to COVID. The game may be rescheduled, but it is in doubt and Newman is expected to continue with their last 2 Regular Season games.

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