For years Pat Hill and the Bulldogs put an emphasis of recruiting the valley first, and for years the Bulldogs reaped the benefits. While leaving no stone unturned Hill and Bulldogs were able to find hidden gems throughout the valley. Even though he didn’t always come away with every player he found, he did make it a priority to establish connections with high school programs throughout the Valley.
Once Hill was gone it was apparent that the connections with Valley schools had faded or in some cases were non existent under DeRuyter and staff. Now that head coach Jeff Tedford and staff have taken over, their first priority has been repairing those relationships and forging new ones. The Bulldogs have received criticism for the lack of recruiting local talent. One of those players Josh Allen hailed from a small community high school in Firebaugh CA, and is now rated as one of the top quarterbacks in all of College Football. Tedford and staff now look to make relationships with as many Valley schools as they can. Even the small ones.
One of those schools, Mendota, sees it’s players getting the attention it’s rarely received in the past. Just recently Mendota’s head coach Beto Mejia and 4 of his players took a visit to Fresno State for their first ever Valley Day for players throughout the Valley and the State of California. While on the visit Coach Mejia and the players took in as much of the information and atmosphere as they could.
When talking to Head Coach Mejia one thing is apparent, he and the community of Mendota are proud of their athletics program at Mendota High. No matter the sport, from football to soccer, the community gets behind the players. For Fresno State’s Valley day Mendota players were invited to attend and 4 took the opportunity to see what football with the Bulldogs would be like.