george washington high school

Letter to the Editor: Football is Back in the Richmond District


After losing every game in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, coupled with the 2020 campaign being cancelled due to COVID protocol, the George Washington High School Eagles football program has had a resurgence of participation and interest building towards the upcoming 2021 season.  

In 2018 we couldn’t field a JV team, and many student athletes opted for other sports, which were deemed safer and more importantly better coached and organized. 

A group of current juniors, many of whom attended Presidio Middle School, have changed the overall culture of our program. Led by captain Ben Nguyen, they have recruited current students and incoming freshmen this offseason to the tune of more than 50 players that will be representing our school on the field this coming season.  That is after only fielding 15 players back in 2019. 

In addition to their recruiting efforts, they were able to raise more than $10,000 before COVID hit, in order to buy equipment and lockers for the stadium. All this will benefit our other sports like soccer and lacrosse.  

Former players have returned to the program as well to coach and assist this group to achieve their ultimate goal of playing in the Turkey Bowl. Coaches LeVander Moore (class of 2011), Kevin Phung (2015) and Eric Balanag (1990) will be on the sidelines in 2021. 

The current players call themselves “field rats” because, throughout the pandemic they worked out on their own and Zoomed with each other on the playbook, building chemistry despite no in-person school or formal practices.  

When SFUSD cleared athletics to return this past April for two practices a week, the turnout was amazing, with 30 players showing up with four coaches on Monday and Friday nights at the stadium.  We are probably the most diverse team in the City, with players hailing from China, Nepal, Fiji, Russia and Bangladesh, to name just a few.

Our official 2021 season kicks off with first practice on July 19 and a 10-game schedule with the hopes of playing this Thanksgiving at Kezar Stadium.  

Dave Mertz 

2021 Season Schedule

@San Lorenzo Valley TBA 

Saturday Sept. 4, 7 p.m. @Irvington 

Friday Sept. 10, 4 p.m. vs. Harbor TBA

Thursday Sept. 30, 3 p.m. @ Kezar vs. Mission 

Friday Oct. 8 , 3 p.m. @ Washington vs. Galileo 

Friday Oct. 22, 3 p.m. @ Washington vs. Burton 

Thursday, Oct. 28, 3 p.m. @ Washington vs. Lowell 

Saturday, Nov. 6, 2 p.m. @ Balboa vs. Balboa 

Friday, Nov. 12, 1:30 p.m. @ Lincoln vs. Lincoln

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