Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Coach ready for new conference

    By Eva Hannan

    In his seventh season as the head coach of the Laney Eagles football team, John Beam must contend with an imposing adversary — keeping up the standards set by the last two seasons.

    The 2016 and 2017 campaigns proved to be transformational for the team. After going 4–6 in 2015, Laney went 9–2 the next two seasons, with a record of 5–0 in conference games in 2017, winning the National Valley Conference title for the first time.


    This rapid rise to excellence prompted the team to be moved out of NVC and into the National Bay 6 Conference. Most Bay 6 teams are familiar to the Eagles, but the difference will be for Laney facing them at the end of the season when the championship is on the line.

    The Bay 6 Conference includes rival City College of San Francisco, against whom Laney has gone 3–0 in the last two seasons. Also in the conference are Chabot College, Diablo Valley College, College of San Mateo and Santa Rosa Junior College.

    The Eagles are ranked sixth in the Preseason Junior College Athletic Bureau Poll of California Community College Football Coaches.

    The 2018 team, comprised of 55 sophomores and 44 freshmen, have some big cleats to fill, and the coaching staff works to find players across the state and even the country who they think are a good fit here at Laney.

    “We try to appeal to them to come here to play at Laney, showcase yourself at a higher caliber, then you can leave and go to a bigger school. Don’t walk on at a Division I school; come here and play,” Beam said.

    The team focuses on summer conditioning so they can contend with opponents under conditions far different from Laney’s cool weather and artificial turf. For example, the season opener Saturday, Sept. 1, is at Santa Rosa Junior College, where the temperature for the 6 p.m. kickoff is projected to be 90 degrees.

    Beam doesn’t see this as an issue for the Eagles. “Last year when we played against [CCSF] in the opener, we took over the game in the fourth quarter. We played Fresno [City College] down there in the heat, and we took over in the fourth quarter again. We’re used to it and we mauled them.”

    Many new players will be testing the effectiveness of this training, including running back and kick-returner John McDonald, who is back in the starting line-up after a year’s absence from the Laney lineup.

    Another sophomore player, new to Laney this season, is quarterback Jordon Brookshire of Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa. Last season he played in six games for Santa Rosa Junior College with 10 touchdowns and a 51.2 pass completion percentage.

    Beam said that the team won’t know until the end of the first game whether their conditioning and training is enough to replicate the success of the last two years, given their position in a new conference.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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