Head coach: Brandon Deckard
First season at Foothill; Fourth season overall (15-16)
Last season: 1-8 overall; 1-3 SEYL
Playoffs: None
History: League titles (9); Section titles (0)
Assistant coaches: James Meredith, defensive coordinator; Dallas Plater, special teams; Andy Dura, offensive line/defensive line; Luis Vendura, linebackers; Raully Lou De la Rosa, defensive backs; Leonard Nevilles, defensive line; Curtis Fainter, offensive line

2018 schedule

Aug. 17 - vs. Kennedy
Aug. 24 - at Arvin
Aug. 31 - at West
Sept. 7 - at Shafter
Sept. 14 - vs. Delano
Sept. 21- BYE
Sept. 28 - vs. South*
Oct. 5 - at North*
Oct. 12 - at Highland*
Oct. 19 - vs. East*
Oct. 26 - at Mira Monte*
*SEYL game

Top returner

Ed Hurd, senior, RB/DB - A running back and defensive back, Hurd is a tough, soft-spoken leader for the Trojans. He started last season for Foothill.

Key players

Jose Gallegos, senior, WR - Another lead-by-example player for the Trojans, Gallegos has soft hands and good speed. That combination makes him a reliable pass catcher in the Foothill passing attack.

Isaac Mata, senior, RB/WR - A tough, fearless player who’s not afraid to run passing routes over the middle or run tough between the tackles coming out of the backfield.

Miguel Moreno, senior, OL/DL - The Trojans need him to anchor both lines of scrimmage as an offensive left tackle and defensive tackle. The senior stands at about 6-feet tall and weighs over 250 pounds.

Donnie Coleman, senior, RB/DB - He can flat out fly and could be a big-play threat for the Trojans offense if he can get the ball in space and out on the edge.

Defining feature

While they’ve had some memorable names roll through the program in years past (Joey Porter, Rashaan Shehee, Lonnie Shelton to name a few), the Trojans have fallen on hard times for the better part of 15 years.

They now enter a new year with a new head coach (their third in three years) and are looking to get off the mat. Heck, a win or two would be great after going 6-42 over the past five seasons and coming off a 1-8 mark last year.

“I would love to tell you that there’s a magic formula that I have written up in the back up my head, that some scheme is going to come out and we’re going to win everything,” head coach Brandon Deckard said. “We’re going to work hard, we’re going to put in the effort in. The kids have worked hard all summer, put the effort into the weight room, in the spring.”

Deckard said he hasn’t put a win-loss record on what would make the Trojans’ season a success.

“We want to be competitive with everybody that we’re playing,” he said. “One of the big talks here last year was that big Highland game here, they blew us out by 70. Those are things that, no matter what the wins and losses are at the end of the day, we need to do away with that stuff. We need people to know that if you come to Foothill High School, and you play us, you’re in for a battle, no matter what happens. That’s our goals, that’s our expectations.”

What has changed?

A new coach is in place and he’s looking to right the ship.

Brandon Deckard is not a rookie, however. He spent 12 years at Kern Valley, the last three as head coach. His best season in charge of the Broncs resulted in an 8-3 record and a trip to the Central Section Division V playoffs. Prior to Kern Valley, Deckard spent three years at Highland, meaning he’s familiar with facing Foothill on Friday night.

“As a teacher and as a coach, there’s not much I haven’t really seen. I know how the kids — how they’re going to react, what they’re going to do,” Deckard said. “You got to bring that experience with you. It’s a culmination of everything you’ve learned over 17 years.”

Running back Ed Hurd said chemistry is better in the locker room this training camp and thinks it can translate into more success on the field.

“Work together. The past years we’ve been arguing. That really brings us down. That does not help,” Hurd said. “We need chemistry.”

Deckard said he wants the team to be stronger both mentally and physically in 2018.

"Toughness. We need to be tougher than what we were last year. We need to be hard nosed,” the head coach said. “Can't be afraid to hit, can't be afraid to run the ball between the tackles. And we need to get better at it right now."

Teddy Feinberg can be reached at 661-395-7324. Follow him on Twitter: @TeddyFeinberg.

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