Posted on 03 August 2015 by La Habra Journal
By Shanin Thomas
La Habra Journal
The tradition continues. That is the motto of La Habra High School Varsity Football and according to Head Coach Frank Mazzotta, there is no magic formula to La Habra Football’s winning tradition. Coach Mazzotta has been coaching the varsity football team for 16 seasons. Those seasons include 13 freeway league championships, 14 CIF playoff appearances, and 7 championship appearances while taking home the trophy in six of them. Additionally, over 45 former high school athletes under Coach Mazzotta have taken their talents to a number of diverse universities to obtain college degrees. “I have been really lucky to have great kids,” Mazzotta said. “With a hand full of exceptional athletes.” Mazzotta also gives credit to his coaching staff who have accompanied him through the multiple successful seasons. He said they “built this tradition together.” The Highlanders completed their last week of camp with a passing league tournament on July 11 and will now head into a three week break. Mazzotta said he is excited to start playing again because of immense amount of experience and talent in several returners. He expects them to do the same thing they have been doing while becoming stronger, more experienced, and more confident on either side of the ball. Last season the La Habra Highlanders went undefeated in the Freeway league and ended with an overall record of 7–4. Quarterback Eric Barriere, last year’s league MVP, will be returning for his senior season with the Highlanders. Leadership on the other side of the ball can be found in senior linebacker Jake Colacion, who recently committed to the University of Arizona. Mazzotta not only spoke of the three starting years of Barriere’s dominating skill set on the offensive side, he also mentioned that most of his offensive talent will be returning bigger and stronger. The only shoes to fill are the graduated and explosive running back, Carlos Martin, he said. One idea Coach Mazzotta has in mind is moving All-CIF linebacker, Colacion, to running back next season. Colacion grew up playing on the offensive side and the transition should be easy for him, he said. As always, Mazzotta scheduled a tough pre-league for the Highlanders. “There is just a desire to compete and it brings out the best,” he said. Some of the dangerous teams the Highlanders will be facing early include Mission Viejo, South Hills, and Colony. La Habra’s season will kick off with an away game against top program, El Toro, on August 28th. With the new season come new equipment deals. The Highlanders decided to drop previous Nike gear, equipment, and jerseys that included the color black. This season audiences will see an Adidas uniform featuring Highlander blue and gray.
And when it comes to the tradition and the hopes that its success continues, Coach Mazzotta said, “I’m happy and enjoying it. It all comes down to the people I am around in this great community.”