Half Moon Bay High School football players have been waiting nearly nine months for this moment. The varsity football team began its strength training in January, and now, with summer almost over, the first game is right around the corner.
The Cougars’ season kicks off with a scrimmage home game against Mountain View High School at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Cougars are looking to bounce back from a competitive and challenging 2018 season, which saw them move up to the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division. They finished 5-5, and were winless in their five league games.
With 25 roster spots, the team has many returning players. There are four sophomores, and the rest of the team is made up of juniors and seniors. Now that the team has moved back to the Ocean Division, head coach Keith Holden is confident the team will have more success. It won’t be overmatched, as the young team seemed at times last season.
“Last year we had a bunch of really good young players,” Holden said. “Now we’re in a league we can compete in, and they’re a year older and a year better.”
The team had a solid offseason workload, and the results showed in the weight room. Holden said no 2018 player made the “750 Club,” meaning none squatted more than 750 pounds. This year, nine players have already made the list.
Fresh off the junior varsity roster, sophomore William Moffitt will be the team’s starting quarterback. Because of the work ethic and skill set he displayed this summer, Holden expects Moffitt to fit right in.
“It’s a big leap, but not for him,” Holden said. “He’s willing to work, super competitive, and he’s mentally strong. He doesn’t get rattled very easily.”
The 10-game schedule will feature familiar opponents Burlingame (Sept. 6), Menlo School (Oct. 18), and Terra Nova (Nov. 8). The first divisional game will be against San Mateo High School, Oct. 4. For the Cougars’ full schedule, go to hmbhsathletics.com.