Menlo's Newton earns coach of the week award


Menlo School football coach Mark Newton has been named the Charlie Wedemeyer Memorial Coach of the Week by the San Francisco 49ers' Foundation. Newton will appear on KRON-TV on the Gary Radnich show on Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

Menlo School defeated Sacred Heart Prep, 26-0, on Nov. 11 in the ninth annual Valparaiso Bowl at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. The victory earned the Knights (7-3) an at-large berth into the Central Coast Section Division IV playoffs. Menlo opens with a first-round game at 7 p.m. on Friday against Carmel at Pacific Grove High.

"I was very proud of our guys and our coaches and felt grateful, : Newton said. "There are a lot of different things that go into choosing this honor and I'm just thankful that they all aligned. We're very pleased with how the guys progressed -- their body of work -- over the season."

The team lost all but a handful of starters from last year's 8-4 squad. At this point in the season, high school teams are contending with injuries and fatigue. Menlo has had its share, losing eight players since two-a-days. Still, the young Knights have shown that they can come through in the clutch, and have plenty of resolve.

"Our win Friday starts with the defense, " Newton said. "Our coaches Jason Ward, Taylor Skaufel, Mark Mueller did a great job preparing the players so that they were in position for different situations on the field . . . The players listened well during the week and watched film. They played the game at a level that was pretty exceptional."

In the past two games, Menlo has outscored its opponents 74-7.

"Our offensive line did very well against a formidable defensive line," Newton added about the Valpo Bowl. "They prepared and made adjustments during the week. They showed a lot of maturity."

According to the 49ers' community relations staff, coaches of the week are those whose team not only had an outstanding game, but also own winning records and are bound for the playoffs.

Newton and the Menlo School football team will receive $1,000 from the 49ers Foundation. Newton was invited to the 49ers' home game against the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 4, during which he will be recognized on the field before the game.

The 49ers also have invited Newton to visit the team facility in Santa Clara to watch a closed practice, and he will receive a certificate from 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh. Newton and the other coach of the week winners are eligible to win the 49ers' High School Coach of the Year presented at season's end.

— Pam McKenney/Menlo Sports Information

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