The 2008 Cougars are continuing a tradition of striving for excellence, as did their predecessors. They were the 2006 and 2007 champions. Inevitably the 2008 season has become what we call in sports a "transition year" (5-4 ), however, the Cougars have become the exception to the rule and have made this season a quality transition year . Losing about 16 seniors from the 2007 undefeated squad and losing key players to injuries this season, including the starting QB and RB, the Cougars still have managed to stay competitive in a tough conference. The Cougars have accomplished victories over three Div 1 playoff teams and an impressive win over the #2 ranked team in Oregon, moreover, the team still is on the run for a playoff spot. Even though it is a very young team with a majority of underclassmen including two sophomores, the team's attitude is very positive with graceful pride and with a strong desire for victory that it is manifested every Friday under the lights.
This is Foothill High "Cougar Pride", an institution that prides themselves in their success on the field as well as off the field. Where players make a supreme effort to attain excellence on the field of play and in their classrooms. This is the community of Palo Cedro, which the locals proudly call "Cougar Country", and where football takes over people's lives until baseball season comes around.
Foothill HS gives special attention to academics. Foothill achieved an impressive 819 (API) score on the state exam, and the 2007 team had a 3.20 average GPA and this season is above 3.0 as well. Principal Jim Bartow, Kevin Greene (Assist. Principal & Athletics Adm.), Troy Wellington (Athletics Director), and Coach Bryon Hamilton have been the architects of this team's success story, and they have many more goals in their agenda.
Coach Bryon Hamilton success at Foothill is rooted in his vast experience as a coach and his years as a player. His coaching skills and his understanding of the game can be seen through his players' performances during practices and games. Coach Hamilton attended Long Beach State on a football scholarship, and had a distinguish college career as a TE from 1987 to 1991, including the great honor to play a season under Hall of Fame coach George Allen (coach Allen coached the LA Rams, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins and various colleges). Coach Hamilton's career as a coach started in 1991 as Head Junior Varsity Coach at Foothill, in 1996 he became the Offensive Coordinator for Shasta College until 2002, in 2003 he took over as the Head Varsity Coach at Foothill.
Foothill has many talented players, but there are six players that have caught my attention, they are as follow:
At WR, P #7 Brad Winters 6'1"-165 (Sr), has 12 receptions @ 24 yds per reception with 1 Touchdown. Punting 40.57 yds avg, and 67 yds long. Great Punter, good speed and hands, he would be a great asset to any football team at the college level.
At WR, QB #12 Michael Faris 6'3"-175 (Jr), has 22 receptions @ 15 yds per reception with 3 touchdowns. Rushing 7.61 yds per carry with 3 touchdowns. He recently assumed the starting QB position. Good powerful player, great speed, hands and feet, great talent. A very impressive player. One of the top player in the league. His leadership and conduct on the field is a sign of his maturity as a player and as a person.
At WR, DB #25 Marcial Lawson, 5'8"- 160 (Jr), has 7 receptions @ 3.3 yds per reception. Rushing 8.48 yds per carry with 8 touchdowns. One of the top DB in the league, 5 Interceptions. Great speed, good feet and intensity. An all around good player.
At RB, LB # 34 Codey Ellenwood 5'10"-225 (Jr), has 25 carries with an avg of 5.0 yds per carry, with 3 touchdowns. Missed a few games, but now is back 100%. He is a fast and very powerful RB, strong legs and takes good care of the ball. He has good vision of the field and knows how to make use of his blockers. #34 is talented young version of Brandon Jacobs (NY Giants RB).
At TE, LB #45 Mitchel McCarthy 6'0"-185 (Sophomore), has 45 tackles, 25 assists, 11 sacks, 2 fumble recs. Very impressive young player, one of the top defensive players in the league. A talented and intense player.
At OL, DL # 67 Aaron Boals 6'2" – 320 (Jr), has 14 tackles, 9 assists, 2 fumble recs. A very strong and athletic player. His mobility and his ability to push the offensive line is a treat to the eyes. A very talented player.
They are a young team hungry for triumphs, on the sidelines they are pumped up and head high, exhaustion is forgotten every second of the game, they are regimented and focused, they are a proud group and respectful of the game, they are the Foothill Cougars.