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Coach Trokey addresses his players
ABOVE: Coach Tim Trokey addresses his team at halftime of the game at Sac High. Photo by Ema Pavlova.

BELOW: The Mustangs have a great number of players playing both offense and defense. Photo by Ivan Rinker.
The Mustangs offense in action
Coach Trokey looking to improve football program

Now you might think the Foothill High varsity football team is bad because of its 0-4 record but, there's more to it than that. At the very start, the team didn't have many players, but the number is growing.

"We have about 31, 32 guys on varsity that are participating, which is actually up," said varsity head coach Tim Trokey. "Originally we started the year with about 23. Some of the guys decided to come out, maybe seniors that thought, last year was a rough year, and the coach quitting in the middle, I think some of them just, their mind wasn't in it, their heart wasn't in it, they were worried that the same kind of stuff might happen. So, once they saw how things were they decided to come back, so it's good."

The team is going up against schools that have 40-plus, 50-plus players and for the amount that the Mustangs have, they can't just switch them in and out enough.

"It's a huge factor, especially in the first couple games, because the guys that came out late didn't get to play in those games," Trokey explained. "So the majority of our guys are going both ways. The teams that we played, it was very evident because the first few series we played really, really well, competitive, even some of them, as far as the first half -- competitive. But it starts wearing off going both ways and the other team just kinda ends up running away. Part of it is going both ways and part of it is they're learning a whole new system and so they make some mistakes here and there. The combination of both is a big part of our lack of success."

Players are playing both sides of the ball (offense and defense) for most of the game. If you're not into football or don't follow it, then you don't know how hard it is to keep up with other players that are fully rested. It's noticeable at all the games that FHS is playing with its opponents early in games, even forcing punting situations or turnovers.

This was especially noticeable at the Sac High game. The first play for the defense, FHS intercepted the ball and ran it back 15 yards. So it's not that Foothill is a bad team, it's just that the numbers are low—and so is morale.

"Some get a little mentally weak after the other team scores once or twice," said Trokey. "A lot of the mental focus goes away, some lose hope just because the other team scored, instead of fighting and building on the success they had early. Between that and fatigue, it really hurts, because they get mentally fatigued and physically."

While the team is struggling with a 0-4 record, coach Trokey is positive, hopeful and optimistic about the rest of the season and future seasons.

"Natomas will be a good test for us," said Trokey. "If our guys do what they are coached to do, how they are coached to do it, then we can have a lot of fun out there."

Friday night against Natomas is the last game before league (PVL) matchups start against Placer, Lincoln, Colfax, Center, and Bear River.

"We still have an outside shot of making the playoffs if we do what we are supposed to do," said coach Trokey.

The team is practicing hard and taking the right steps to victory and looking ahead to the playoffs.

"Practice is good, we make mistakes, and we coach them to do what they are supposed to do," said Trokey. "There are instances in a game where we block and do our jobs correctly and we make a big play, then I'll run it again in a couple of plays and for whatever reasons someone pops the wrong person and it doesn't work.

"I think we're headed in the right direction. We've got a lot of discipline and stuff that has happened in the past. Discipline of the guys has gotten much better. Attitudes are much better. We're trying to increase the work ethic, getting them to put in the time and earn the victories in the off season and in the weight room.

"We're getting there. Learning the new system, knowing their assignments, all these different types of stuff that we're working on."

Overall the coach is trying to run a great program and has a team that has the potential to be the best.

"Obviously we have more work to do," said Trokey. "That's what we do every day, every week, just continue to work and press to get better. This is my first year coaching at Foothill High. It's different but it's my home. I love the football and the competitiveness and this is where I want to be."


Oakmont 40, FHS 14
Davis 30, FHS 7
Sac High 61, FHS 0
Rio Linda 54, FHS 7
FHS 26, Natomas 0
  4 Bye
11 vs Placer
18 at Lincoln
25 at Colfax
  1 vs Center
 8 vs Bear River
15 Playoffs TBA


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