After a five-year hiatus, Turlock Christian is reviving its football program for the 2023 season and has hired Michael McFadden to coach the team in the fall.
“I get asked all the time if we’re going to have football,” said athletic director Nicole Rodriguez. “There’s a desire from our community, and our students really miss the Friday night lights. Football brings such a different spirit, excitement and atmosphere. So, we have an open hand with this to see where God leads the school.”
McFadden, a native of Detroit and 2007 graduate of Fordson High School in Dearborn, Mich., played collegiately at Wayne State. He was the school’s starting quarterback for three seasons, and then played several years in the Arena Football League and in Europe. His wife had a desire to return to her native California and they’ve made their home in Merced, her hometown.
McFadden has coached at El Capitan, Buhach Colony, Livingston, Delhi and Stone Ridge Christian high schools, as well as at Merced College.
“I didn’t know I’d ever be in coaching,” said McFadden. “I barely understood what coaches did, even when I played.”
McFadden plans on running the Air Raid offense, which puts an emphasis on speed and skill rather than size and power.
“It’s a very good offense for schools that are not powerhouses and have trouble getting certain types of players,” said McFadden. “I think it’s going to help with our limited numbers and help neutralize other teams’ size advantages.”
So far, McFadden has about 23 players committed to playing in the fall. He hopes to have enough interest for a junior varsity program in two or three seasons down the road.
“I want this program to live up to our name, which is Turlock Christian,” said McFadden. “We want to represent God in the way we’re supposed to. In conjunction with that, we want to be a school that competes hard to win, but with class and dignity in everything that we do.”
Pitman earns victory over rival Turlock — The Pride cruised to a 25-11, 25-11, 25-11 Central California Athletic League victory over the rival Bulldogs last week.
Pitman improved to 5-7 overall and 2-2 in CCAL action, while Turlock fell to 0-3.
Senior Simer Deep led the Pride with 19 assists, four kills, four digs and three ace serves, while teammate Param Gill, a sophomore, had 11 digs and two aces. Seniors Dominick Harper and Alex Saavedra led the way with six kills and two blocks, respectively.
Turlock takes rubber match against Enochs — The Bulldogs defeated the Eagles 6-0 on Saturday at Dick Windemuth Field, taking the Central California Athletic League series 2-1, and then took the first game of a three-game set with Modesto 10-0 on Monday.
Turlock, now 6-7 overall and 5-2 in conference, got a three-hit performance from Sean Clark, who had two singles and a triple with two RBIs and a run scored in three at-bats against Enochs.
Against the Panthers, Carter Crivelli was 2-for-2 with two runs driven in and a run scored, while Josh Ramirez was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored. Gannon Evans was 2-for-3 with a run scored and one RBI.
The Bulldogs will see action again today 4 p.m. when they host Modesto in Game 2 of the CCAL series.