New coach Anthony Jackson takes football program under his wing


Naomi Betz

Archie Williams head coach, Anthony Jackson (middle) and his staff (from left to right) Joe Spring, Jack Ruach, Dee Anderson, and Rafael Alonso talking to their players after a victory against Berean Christian

It’s no secret that AWHS isn’t known for their football team. Water polo and cross country continuously dominate the fall sports domain, and are crowned Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) champions almost every year. On the other hand, the AWHS football program hasn’t seen nearly as much success. 

Year after year, the team seeks out more student athletes and incoming freshmen in hopes that they may be the answers to the program’s woes. After all, the program’s last winning season took place in 2013 when the formerly-known Pirates went 6-5, led by coach Ethan Hough. 

However, second-year head coach Anthony Jackson is looking to put the program back on track and get AWHS football back to its winning ways. “We have to break the losing streak at some point. Why not now?” said Jackson after Wednesday’s season-opening win over Berean Christian. 

Jackson has multiple years of coaching experience across the Bay Area. Whether it’s track and field at San Leandro’s Arroyo High School, basketball for Team Esface Academy in Redwood City, or football at AWHS, the coach is no stranger to running a successful program.

“This is a really talented group of kids, there’s no shortage of athleticism throughout this roster,” Jackson said. “I have been impressed with their commitment and dedication towards getting better every day,” 

His players are mutually optimistic to have the chance to learn and grow under Jackson, 

“Coach Jackson and his staff was the best thing that could’ve happened to our program,” said senior outside linebacker Ben Poster, who is in his fourth year in the school’s football program. “We all look up to him as a mentor and have so much respect for him and his knowledge of the game. He brings out the best in us and pushes us to work harder. He is putting us on the right path towards becoming a winning program.”

With just one winning season in the last 20 years, the AWHS football team hasn’t had much student interaction. This season, the Falcons are off to a rare 2-0 start, and have flocks of students filling their student section. 

 “We can feel the energy within our school. We want the school and community to come out to our games and see the strides we have made not only as a team, but as a program as well,” Poster said. “When more people come to our home games, it changes the atmosphere and gets us players fired up to come out and put on a show,” 

Poster and the Falcons have yet to allow a single point this season with dominant back-to-back shutouts against Berean Christian (27-0) and Lowell (39-0). 

Coach Jackson and his squad knows there’s still lots left to prove, and there are still many doubts about whether the group will be able to compete with some of MCAL’s top teams.

 “We’re taking it a week at a time. Going into the game, we are always expecting to win, but the main priority right now is getting the community behind us,” Jackson said.

On Sept. 18, the rebranded football team will face off against American High School at Tak Fudenna Memorial Stadium in Fremont. Jackson and his boys are looking to deal the Eagles their third loss of the season and add on to their 2-0 winning streak.