Sports

M-A football coach reflects on grand season and the future

 

Back home on Sunday from a trip to Lancaster in which his Menlo-Atherton football team fell short in its bid for a state championship, losing to Paraclete 39-21, Adhir Ravipati began the process of putting the experience in perspective.

"M-A teams have won three CCS titles and not a whole lot of league championships,'' Ravipati said. "To do what we did, things people didn't think were possible for M-A, makes me very proud of the kids. They changed the course of M-A football. We have a solid foundation for future success. Hopefully, we'll get back there soon.''

Ravipati said that Josh Lepulu, who suffered a scary injury during the game, is OK.

"It was a really big collision and he blacked out for 10 to 15 seconds," Ravipati said. "It was a scary moment. He had a concussion. But shortly after that he had full movement, no spinal pain, was answering questions. He was monitored for a couple of hours and then released from the hospital. He's home now."

M-A went 6-5 in 2015 in Ravipati's first year as head coach. The Bears lost their first two games this season, then reeled off 12 wins in a row, winning Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division, CCS Open Division I and Northern California Division 3-AA championships before falling in the state finals.

Saturday night's game against Paraclete was played in cold but not particularly windy conditions at Antelope Valley College. M-A had an early 7-0 lead and was driving for another score when it lost a fumble in the red zone.

Trailing 26-14 in the second quarter, the Bears went in for a touchdown to make it 26-21 at halftime. And then, in the third quarter they scored an apparent go-ahead touchdown that was called back on a penalty. Paraclete seized momentum at that point and pulled away for the victory.

Ravipati, who also serves as an assistant coach on the Menlo-Atherton boys basketball team, said he will take a couple of weeks off before sitting down with hoops head coach Mike Molieri to determine his role with this season's basketball team.

"It's been a long year with NorCal basketball and going all the way to the state finals in football,'' Ravipati said.

He's very optimistic about the future.

"I love M-A, I'm getting the opportunity to coach great kids,'' he said. "I feel the best is yet to come for M-A, considering the strength in numbers we have at the lower levels.''

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