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La Salle's Russell Gordon is the ABC7 NFL High School Coach of the Week

File photo of La Salle High football coach Russell Gordon.
November 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Some might call what happened on the La Salle Lancers' field in the past three months a football miracle.

The Lancers hoped to win at least five games this season. But they came out and won their opening game. They won the next week, too, and the next. La Salle didn't stop at five wins, or six, or seven. They ran the table in the regular season to go a perfect 10-0.

"I never would've seen us going 10-0, but Coach (Russell) Gordon is one of those coaches who believed in us," said Lancers wide receiver Jalen Gray.

Gordon said morale was a little low, but he saw a bright future for La Salle.

"The culture needed to be changed, as far as this wasn't going to be recreational anymore," he said.

Some people might have thought the first-year head coach was crazy. He left Campbell Hall for La Salle, which was 1-19 the past two years.

"I came to their homecoming game last year," Gordon said. "They were 0-8. I saw the community support and it was awesome. The way they embraced this team, it was definitely something I wanted to be a part of."

His coaching style paid off quickly on the scoreboard. The Lancers were not only undefeated, they won by an average of almost 40 points per game.

"Effort equals results," Gordon said.

After going 10-0, La Salle couldn't quite take it all the way. They lost by two points in the CIF playoffs last weekend.

"We made mistakes that night that were out of character," Gordon said. "That's what happens. These games are about competition and so is life. They learned another life lesson out of it."

So now the off-season workouts begin in the place the turnaround all started: the La Salle weight room.


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