Two of the greatest coaches in Santa Monica history volunteered to help the St. Monica football team prepare for its October 11 game against Villanova Prep.
And although the Mariners lost another close game, 17-14, Coach Sean Ritter called the week’s preparation “a wonderful experience.” Said Ritter: “Tebb Kusserow has given us some help before but this was the first time I’ve worked with Norm Lacy. I learned a lot from him. They’re both outstanding men.”
Kusserow coached Santa Monica High to a CIF championship in 1981. He retired many years later, but he came out of retirement to assist Lacy, as Samohi won the 2001 CIF title. Lacy also won a CIF championship at St. Monica in 1998.
Kusserow has a long-time history of raising money for the St. Monica church. Lacy is currently the athletic director at Samohi.
St. Monica is attempting to end a losing streak that is now its fourth season. This one began with 29 consecutive defeats, and stretched to 34 with losses in all five non-league games. The Mariners begin their Santa Fe League schedule Friday night, October 17 against Bellarmine-Jefferson at Corsair Field.
With Lacy and Kusserow establishing the game plan against Villanova Prep, St. Monica struck quickly. Hector Sanfiesteban scored on the second play on a 45-yard run.
After Villanova Prep went ahead, 14-7, Sanfiesteban ran 74 yards for the tying touchdown, much to the delight of a large Homecoming crowd at Corsair Field. But Villanova Prep made a game-winning field goal with three minutes left.
St. Monica was without fullback Rafael Padilla, who us out for the season with a knee injury.
In Padilla’s absence, Ritter has shuffled personnel, including playing senior quarterback Joe Giesregen occasionally at running back and moving sophomore Sam Holguin to quarterback.
“Sam is the future but Joe is the present,” said Ritter.