New coach looks to help Raiders build for new season

By Sarah Fenton
La Habra Journal

Former La Habra High School quarterback, Daniel Morales, is now the new head football coach at the school that was once his rival, Sonora High School.  LHJ HS Footbal practice 2016
“It was exciting, first off,” Morales said. “I’m going to be able to teach and be head coach, something I’ve always wanted to do.  But in the back of my mind it’s crazy that I’m going to Sonora, which is our rival. Our cross-town rival since I was little.”
Morales graduated from La Habra High School in 2003 and was an assistant football coach from 2007 to 2013.
He served as the assistant coach at Nogales of La Puente for the past two seasons before replacing Paul Chiotti, who resigned this year.
“All my brothers went to La Habra and my family has strong ties there, but at the end of the day it comes down to just being able to be a part of the community that I live in and that I love,” he said.
Morales said he briefly spoke to his former coach, Frank Mazzotta, about his new head coach title.
“I told him about it, we just talked a little bit. I still need to talk to him a lot more about it, but I jumped into the coaching aspect right away and just started going. Started preparing and getting stuff together, planning out spring, summer and fall and getting everything organized for the season so we can be as productive as possible.”
Practices are in full force for the Raiders as he prepares his new team for the upcoming season, but looking past practices to the games on the schedule, there is one matchup that stands out more than the others.LHJ HS Footbal practice 2016
“If you’re from the city you think about that game,” he said about playing cross-town rival, La Habra High School. “You think about all games, but at the end of the day it comes down to trying to get the most out of our kids. That game is going to happen as well as the other nine games that we have on our schedule so we’re excited about all of them and we want to go out there and be the best that we can be.”
Out of the goals he wants to accomplish this season, his main objectives are for his team to be a family and play hard.
In addition to his team goals, he also wants to make the community more aware of the school and its programs available to students.
Outside of season, he has bigger goals in mind for his team.
“The biggest goal I want to accomplish always is producing successful individuals both in the classroom and on the football field,” he said. “Having them use the tools that football teaches them and take it into the real world with them, be able to use it, become successful people, and get great jobs. I want them to support their families, and be people who care about their family and community. At the end of the day, that’s the ultimate goal.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.