Denair ‘Shoots Itself in The Foot’ in 28-14 Loss to Delhi

Submitted by Denair High School

Self-inflicted wounds sometimes hurt the worst. Just ask the Denair Coyotes football team.

Denair ripped off three long touchdown runs against rival Delhi on Friday night, only to have one of them wiped out by a penalty. The Coyotes also self-destructed with a couple of costly turnovers deep in their own territory and a slew of ill-timed penalties.

The result was a disappointing 28-14 Southern League loss to the Hawks.

After back-to-back losses against better and more physical teams (Ripon Christian and Orestimba), Denair Coach Anthony Armas anticipated a more even matchup against Delhi. What he didn’t expect was his team to lose its focus.

“We just shot ourselves in the foot at the wrong times,” he said. “We dropped some balls we should have caught. We threw some balls into the ground we should have completed. And the penalties just killed us.

“It was just mistakes all across the board.”

Armas recognizes he has a young team, with just five seniors among his 23 players. But he also knows that eight games into a 10-game season, it’s not simply a lack of experience holding his team back. Understanding how to control their emotions and play with poise is part of learning how to win.

“Our goal is to make this program better by doing it the right way,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure guys are dialed in and learning. That’s the big emphasis. To fix it.”

The Coyotes (2-6 overall, 1-4 in SL) started well against Delhi (3-5, 1-4).

With about 7 minutes left in the first quarter and back up on their own 3-yard line, Steffin Winston took advantage of the aggressive Hawks defense, which was crowding the line of scrimmage hoping for a safety. Instead, Winston took a handoff from Drew Pritchard on a trap play, hit the hole hard and found himself in the clear for a 97-yard sprint to the end zone.

Denair had little time to enjoy its lead.

Two plays after the kickoff, Delhi answered with a long run of its own to tie the score.

The Hawks added another TD on a 4-yard pass in the second quarter to take a 14-7 lead. Continue reading “Denair ‘Shoots Itself in The Foot’ in 28-14 Loss to Delhi” »

Denair Campuses Have Big Plans to Mark Red Ribbon Week

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Next week is Red Ribbon Week at schools across the country. Red Ribbon Week began in 1980 as a way to discourage drug use among children while promoting healthy behaviors. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan was one of the original proponents.

The campuses in the Denair Unified School District have a number events planned starting Monday. All are being coordinated by staff as well as student members of the PHAST (Protecting Health and Slamming Tobacco) Clubs.

Denair High School

  • Monday: Crash scene. There will be a wrecked car on the grass near the student store unveiled about 8:40 a.m. The car will be an example of what can happen if people drink and drive, text and drive or are under the influence of drugs and drive. The car will be there all week as a reminder to students. A video was shared with students Friday to prepare them for what they will see Monday. During lunch, we will have games, music and prizes.
  • Tuesday: Drug dog demonstration, games, music and prizes.
  • Wednesday: California Highway Patrol presentation, games, music and prizes.
  • Thursday: Hollywood-themed photo booth, games, music and prizes.
  • Friday: Denair Fire Department presentation, games, music and prizes.

Denair Middle School

  • Monday: PJ Day. Students can wear pajamas to school. The theme is “Reach for Your Dreams, Don’t Let Drugs Get in Your Way.”
  • Tuesday: Celebrity Day. Students can dress up as their favorite celebrity. The theme is “Be Famous for Making the Right Choices.”
  • Wednesday: Twin/Pink Day. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness and Red Ribbon Week, we will join together as twins and wear pink as much pink as possible. The theme is “Join Together Against Drugs.”
  • Thursday: Character Day. Students can dress up as their favorite character — sports hero, Disney character or cartoon character. “Show Your Character, Stand Up Against Drugs!”
  • Friday: Harvest Festival. Students in each grade will wear different colored clothes – sixth (orange), seventh (yellow) and eighth (white). The theme is “Harvest Your Best Qualities, Don’t Fall for Drugs.”

Denair Elementary Charter Academy

  • Monday: Students will show their Coyote spirit by wearing purple or any kind of DECA clothing. The theme is “These Paws Don’t Touch Drugs!”
  • TuesdayStudents will wear sports-related clothing. The theme is “Let’s Team Up Against Drugs!”
  • WednesdayYoungsters are encouraged to dress up to match a friend. The theme is “Friends Don’t Let Friends do Drugs!”
  • Thursday: Students will wear crazy, mismatched socks and wild hair-dos. The theme is “We Are Crazy About Being Drug-Free!”
  • Friday: Students can wear pajamas to school. The theme is “Put Drugs to Sleep!”

Tobacco Expert Delivers Powerful Message About Addiction

Submitted by Denair High School

Victor DeNoble’s story reads like something out of a spy novel. Hired by cigarette maker Phillip Morris in the early ’80s to find a heart-healthy replacement for nicotine, he soon discovered the lethal and powerfully addictive impacts of tobacco products via testing on rats.

Handcuffed by a confidential contract against sharing his knowledge, he eventually found a way to blow the whistle on the industry and testify before Congress, shattering decades of silence about one of the world’s leading killers.

Beyond all the cloak-and-dagger details DeNoble shared Monday to Denair High School students was one all-important fact: Despite the sweeping changes in people’s perceptions and knowledge about tobacco, it’s still as dangerous as ever.

Worse yet, the industry – knowing long-term users are those most likely to die from their habit – appears to be using electronic cigarettes and vaping to target and ever younger demographic who aren’t as aware of the risks.

“There are literally thousands of flavors,” the fast-talking DeNoble told the attentive students. “And nicotine level has been lowered so they don’t have to report it. But the danger is real.”

DeNoble makes 350 to 400 appearances a year before students of all ages as well as other groups. He came to Denair on the invitation of the 25-member PHAST (Protecting Health and Slamming Tobacco) Club. Earlier Monday, he was at Beyer High School in Modesto

He punctuates his presentations with photos of the rats he tested three decades, colorful charts and graphs, and multiple props – including two human brains he says were permanently altered because by nicotine addiction.

It takes only weeks and months for users to become addicted, DeNoble said, but five to 10 years or more for most people to overcome their craving. Continue reading “Tobacco Expert Delivers Powerful Message About Addiction” »

Unbeaten Orestimba Too Much for Gritty Coyotes

Submitted by Denair High School

Bigger, stronger, faster. It’s a theme consistently repeated for most of the past month as a young Denair High football team tries to compete against larger, more experienced rosters in the Southern League.

Friday night’s 58-20 home loss to unbeaten Orestimba was more of the same. The Coyotes showed flashes of potential and crisp execution, only to be undone by a blown assignment or other costly mistake.

“Our effort is not the problem,” said Coach Anthony Armas. “Our defense will shut someone down for two of three plays, then give up a big play. We’re just not consistent.”

Orestimba is the defending Southern League champion. Its senior-laden roster is full of players who have the confidence that comes with that success. Still, scrappy Denair went toe-to-toe with the Warriors in the first quarter Friday, which ended in a scoreless tie and included a blocked punt by the Coyotes’ Scott Badal.

But Orestimba (7-0 overall, 4-0 in league) quickly took control in the second period, scoring three touchdowns while controlling Denair’s offense.

“They really took the run away, which is what we want to do,” Armas said. “They were bringing a lot of heat. They had a big linebacker and some long guys on the edge who gave us some issues. They basically dared us to pass and that’s not our offense.”

That defensive pressure led to an Orestimba safety late in the quarter, giving the Warriors a 23-0 lead. But Orestimba muffed the ensuing Denair punt and Blake Davis recovered for the Coyotes (2-5, 1-3). A few plays later, quarterback Drew Pritchard escaped the rush and found Davis with a pretty 26-yard touchdown pass.

But Orestimba scored three more times in the third quarter and twice in the fourth to blow the game open and force a running clock.

The lone second-half highlights for Denair were two long kickoff returns for touchdowns by Hunter Musgrave – one for 88 yards and the other for 80 on the final play of the game

Junior varsity game: Orestimba shut out Denair 12-0. The Coyotes fell to 1-2 in league play and 2-3 overall.

This week: The Coyotes take to the road Friday to square off with rival Delhi (2-5, 0-4). “This is always a knockdown, drag-out fight,” Armas said. “They’ll stick a bunch of people in the box and dare us to throw it, just like everyone else. … They’re in about the same situation as us when it comes to numbers, but they’re our biggest rival so that doesn’t really mean much.”

Underdog Denair Faces Mighty Orestimba in Football

Submitted by Denair High School

Even in the best of conditions, it’s tough enough trying to prepare for the best football team in the Southern League. Wednesday was not the best of conditions for the Denair Coyotes, who host unbeaten Orestimba on Friday night.

Strong north winds pushed a thick layer of smoke from the Napa and Sonora wildfires into the valley and sent air-quality readings into the unhealthy range. Taking no precautions, school officials in Denair and across the region appropriately cancelled outdoor events. Including football practice.

It clearly was the right decision. Everyone’s health is more important than any one workout. But it added another hurdle into what already looms as one of Denair’s biggest challenges – how to keep up with mighty Orestimba (6-0 overall, 3-0 in the SL).

Typically, Wednesday is the day Denair practices at night at Don Lytton Stadium. That didn’t happen.

“Usually, Wednesday is our best day of practice,” said Coach Anthony Armas. “We’re in the stadium, under the lights, in full pads. The guys like it.”

Denair (2-4, 1-2) is coming off a 36-14 loss last week at Ripon Christian, another game that Armas feels like the Coyotes were physically overmatched.

“We get matchups with certain teams that just aren’t good for us,” he said. “RC is very big. That was kind of rough. Le Grand is more like us (referring to Denair’s 63-20 victory two weeks ago).”

Orestimba will present more of the same size challenges. The Warriors also are skilled at many positions, plus they have nearly twice as many players on their roster as Denair. The Coyotes’ 23-man roster is light on seniors (5) and relies heavily on sophomores (7) pulled up from the JV team.

“They’re the best team in our league and have been the past couple of years,” Armas said. “We’re not going to do anything different. We’ll prepare like every other team. We’ll focus on us and how to get our offense better, and our defense and special teams.”

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium.