PISMO BEACH — Coastal Christian School has been established as a school for 50 years. This year is the first year the school has ever had a football team.
"When I found out we had 8-man football, I thought, we can get 8 guys together... I didn't know anything about football, it's more like 16 but 8 guys, we can get that for football," athletic director Tara Sanchez said.
For most of these student-athletes, it's the first time they've ever played tackle football.
"I was really excited because it's my first time playing tackle football. I've only played flag. My mom didn't have a say in it this year," sophomore quarterback Michael Whalen added.
Senior David Petrick is excited to play his first and final year with the team. "I couldn't tell you how excited I was. I love football and watching it... After junior high, I couldn't play in high school. I wanted to play again, this is a great opportunity too."
The Conquerors are coached by Jason Olaiz, who previously played college football and coached his son for years leading up to this opportunity.
"I have a love for the youth and football, those two thing mixed together. I was asked by our ad if I would pray about coming on and helping out, I prayed about it and I feel like the Lord opened the doors. Here I am and I'm going for it."
Coastal Christian is currently undefeated, winning their first and only game ever played against Maricopa on the road with a 58-48 win. But building this program from the ground up wasn't easy. Due to COVID-19, the athletics department was told there was a shortage of plastic and helmets were back-ordered, So schools across the coast began to donate to the program so they would have helmets in time for the season.
"Cuyama, VCA, and Coast Union sent down helmets with the volleyball team, it still wasn't enough. We were still a little short. Because we bought 20 uniforms and 20 kids ready to play football... Pasadena shipped helmets to us and our boys were geared up for the season... It was pretty neat, we were blessed by the outreach from our community to get the program started," Sanchez added.
The Conquerors are wearing different colored helmets, representing the schools who donated to the program to help them start their first-ever football team. Coastal Christian plays at Coast Union in game two of the season.