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Branham football is ready and wants to build on success from last year

Nick Bandanza throws at the National Preps Collegiate Showcase in Fresno on Sept. 26, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Nick Bandanza throws at the National Preps Collegiate Showcase in Fresno on Sept. 26, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

The Branham football program saw much success last year after going 11-2, a share of the league title and a deep playoff run. With all that success last year, Branham is itching to get back on the field. 

“We have scheduled to play some games. Things can always change in this time but we can hopefully return to play our league schule in county.” said Branham head coach Stephen Johnson. “Even if it’s one game, we owe it to our seniors to make it happen.”

This is a very special class for Johnson, because he’s seen the hard work put in over the four years with this group. 

“This senior class is special for me,” Johnson said. “They were the last class of the old coaching regime, so I have seen these kids grow. So I would like to give these kids anything I can and try to get them some type of season or game.” 

Johnson’s message to the team in these uncertain times is to enjoy and embrace this moment during workouts and COVID restricted practices. 

“Let’s enjoy the time we have together, lets get better and lets make the most of it,” Johnson said. 

When it all comes down to it, this team is very talented and coming off a very strong 2019-20 campaign where they saw quarterback Nick Brandaza throw for over 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns. Bandanza has a prefla of receivers that are returning, including Matt Cordova and Tristan Vanitegam, who were the top two in receiving yards. Cordova caught 33 passes for 582 yard and 13 touchdowns, while Vanitegem had 222 yards and four touchdowns on 17 catches.

On the other side of the ball Branham returns a strong senior-led secondary with Carson Ledesma and Jacob Meza. Ledesma led the team in Interceptions with four and also wasn’t afraid to get dirty either by totaling 61 tackles. Right behind him was Meza with three interceptions with 34 tackles on the year. 

Branham hopes to see everyone compete in some games this year. It hopes to see Bandanza throw passes to his favorite targets in Cordova and Vanitegam. And also see Ledesma and Meza make incredible defensive interpretations on opposing offense. 

But Branham really wants to let all these football players, especially the seniors, play a couple more times in columbia and navy blue. 

“My heart is in it for the seniors,” Johnson said. “Just want to reward this senior class for all the work and effort they put into Branham football and would like nothing more than to reward them with being able to play.”

1 Comment

  1. Frank P on February 15, 2021 at 11:44 am


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