Those who attended the welcome back assembly should know by now that in contrast to other years, Berkeley High School (BHS) has been taking a lot of pride in their football team, and they have good reason to.
Varsity football, also referred to as “The Swarm,” secured their second win of the season against Hercules High School, defeating them 38-14. In the season opener, they not only beat Redwood High School, who won 45-7 the previous season, but also achieved an astonishing comeback from a 13-0 deficit at halftime. Although the team is currently 2-2 as opposed to a 0-10 record last season, the road to achieving a higher ranking in the North Coast Section (NCS) is not an easy one.
After a couple unfortunate losses, the Swarm will be facing Clayton Valley Charter School on September 27. Clayton Valley is ranked 5th in the NCS and will likely be the toughest competition that they face this year. By now it is certain that with the confidence gained from these wins, the team is running onto the field with an attitude very different from previous years.
Coach James Hodgins, who recently took up the position of varsity coach, is tremendously proud of the boys’ efforts and success so far. Nevertheless, he firmly believes that there is a lot more work to be done to get the young men at the level he wants them to play at. For example, he does not believe that the team’s success should be limited to the field. “Academic success is a big part of our program. We want guys to have the opportunity to go on to play college football or just attend college” he said. Many believe that a change in attitude of the team is a direct result of the new head coach’s effors this season.
Many believe that a change in attitude of the team is a direct result of the new head coach’s efforts this season.
Coach Hodgins arrived at BHS after departing from Berean Christian High School, where he won three league championships as well as making NCS playoffs five of the six years he coached there. His success in coaching football is no surprise considering he played in the National Football League (NFL) for eight years, attended the Super Bowl twice with the St. Louis Rams, and therefore has had access to some of the best coaching in the nation.
When asked about why he decided to become the varsity coach at BHS, he said, “I am vegan and all my favorite restaurants and grocery stores are in Berkeley. That’s only partially a joke, but Berkeley is a very forward thinking city, it has a great history from civil rights to arts and culture, and I enjoy that type of environment.”
Coach Hodgins hopes the school comes out to support the team. “The games are extremely fun, and these guys have worked so hard to bring the pride and excitement back to Jacket football!” Overall, this should be a very exciting season for BHS football.