DOS PALOS After losing to Shafter twice during the 1980 season, including a tough loss in the playoffs, then Dos Palos head football coach Tom Scheidt decided it was time to try something new.
Scheidt implemented a "pride-point" system.
To make the football team in 1981, players had to earn three pride-points. The points were earned by playing other sports at school or by spending time in the weight room.
"Before we instituted the pride-point system weight training wasn't mandatory," Scheidt said. "Our best offensive lineman only benched about 120 pounds. It became a safety issue. We had some kids banged up after that Shafter game."
The pride-point system paid off as the Broncos went on to win three Valley Championships in the next four years.
Over the years the pride-point system has been tweaked by head coaches Mike Sparks, Frank Lemos and now first-year coach Shawn Garrick. Still, it remains a Broncos tradition.
"I wanted to keep the tradition going," said Garrick, who converted the points to hours to make keeping track of them simpler. "I think it promotes participation in other school sports and keeping the kids active. Kids now can earn points for playing other sports, community service, GPA, participating in seven on seven and summer workouts. When they accumulate so many points they can play football.
"We don't want kids who sit at home playing video games all summer thinking they can just come out and play football."
The pride-point system lays out what the players have to do to play football.
"You have to be committed to the team," said senior quarterback Noah Croninger. "We can't have guys who don't put time in the weight room or don't go out to practice. Spending that time in the weight room as a team and out at practice helps us bond together."
After moving from Oregon to take over the Broncos program, Garrick has learned a lot about one of the most important Broncos traditions: Winning.
Dos Palos has won 47 league titles and 15 section titles. The more time Garrick spends in Dos Palos the more he learns just how important football is to the town.
"Football is everything here," Garrick said. "I think people get excited for it. When I'm out in the community people ask me what kind of offense we're going to run. They want to know what our defense looks like. I don't know how many other coachs are meeting with Lions clubs or have their own radio show in town."
Garrick thinks he'll have plenty to talk about on the show.
The Broncos like the group of players they have including Croninger, running back Isaac Suarez and what they have on the line in Juan Jimenez and Matt Elms.
Garrick wants to keep any changes he's making to the offense and defense close to the vest going into the season.
The players are hoping all the work and changes result in a successful season.
"When I think of Dos Palos tradition I think of a winning tradition," Croninger said. "So many teams have come through here with a winning record. There's so many league titles and Valley Championships. The last couple years we've gotten away from that. We hope to bring that back this year."
Head coach: Shawn GarrickYear/record: 1st seasonLast season: 4-7
Key losses: Andrew Hall, RB; Seth Allen, TE.Key returners: Noah Croninger, QB, SR, 6-1, 180; Juan Jimenz G/MLB, JR, 6-0, 215; Armando Bravo WR/S, SR, 5-10, 175; Isaac Suarez RB/OLB, SR, 5-6, 175; Ryan Willis R/OLB, SR, 5-7, 160; Adam Coronado WR/CB, SR, 2-9, 160, Dominic DeFrancesco WR/DE, JR, 6-1, 210.
Key newcomers: Lee Navarro WR/CB, JR, 6-1, 175, Matt Elms C/DT, JR, 6-0, 220.
Rivaly game: Sept. 20 at Los Banos
Stadium name: Hughes Stadium (3,000)
Sept. 6 vs Hilmar
Sept. 13 vs Pacheco
Sept. 20 at Los Banos
Sept. 27 vs Chowchilla
Oct. 4 at Kerman
Oct. 11 at Mendota
Oct. 18 at Firebaugh
Oct. 25 vs Tranquillity
Nov. 1 vs Coalinga
Nov. 8 at Avenal