New coaches desire successful season

by Meridith Zembal
Staff Writer

La Verne football has taken huge strides to make this season one to remember as three additional coaches were welcomed to ULV. Although they are new to the Leopards coaching staff, they are not new to the game of football.

The returning football staff consists of head coach Don Morel, offensive line coach Mark Potacki, tight end coach Mike Riggs, linebackers Ryan Turner, secondary Derek Bedell, offensive line Mike Harris, and also returning after a one year absence, is the running backs coach Jim Langley.

Now adding to these coaches, who have the combined experiences of more than 35 years, come three new faces: Mike Esposito, defensive coordinator, Dave Morales, wide receivers, and Brian Brew, defensive line.

Born in New York, Esposito found himself at William Penn College where he played for one year. Three years prior to that he played at Appalachia State College. With his professional wrestling career, he made time to earn his master’s degree from Chadron State. With 10 years under his belt as a coach and more than 11 years of strength training others, this coach should make a positive impact on the 2001 season for the Leopards.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Mike on our staff,” said Morel. “He’s able to create an atmosphere of positive energy Because of Mike we are already physically prepared.”

Dave Morales spent two years playing at La Verne where he received All Conference awards in both 1991 and 1992. As an alumnus, Morales came into the program understanding how La Verne football works.

It is the goals of the coaches to not only teach their athletes about the game, respect, mental and physical strength, but also to make sure and enforce the superior importance of academics.

Finally the defensive line coach, Brian Brew who is returning to his alma mater to carry on the pride of La Verne football. He was honored as All Conference Player of the Year in 1999.

“He has the ability to quietly demand,” Morel said.

As a silent warrior, Brew will bring great intensity and leadership to the players he coaches and to the coaching staff throughout the season.

“This is a promising year,” Morales stated.

Operating behind the scenes is this coaching staff. These people are the individuals who have to take the blame when something goes wrong, and they are also the people who receive the praise when everything goes accordingly.

These men have invested a significant amount of time in putting together one of the best groups of athletes on the football field, and they are ready to take on all of the other teams on this season’s schedule with high hopes of completing a very successful season.

The players started the year with team building drills, and the coaches even had them live together in the old gym.

Right from the first few days, the team bonded by learning to eat, sleep, and smell each other. This was an important time for the team to get to know each other.

Football season has jumped into full swing and even though there were the first game blunders, the coaches feel that an 8-1 record is entirely possible.

The team and coaches have high expectations for this 2001 season. This knowledgeable football staff supports every athlete on the field, and they all believe that they will carry the pride and legacy of La Verne football that has conveyed for the past 80 years.

The Leopards will play their next game at 1 p.m. at home on Sept. 22. Challenging ULV will be conference rival the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags.

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