Los Altos was dead in the water. They were cooked, finished. After a 21-0 loss to West Covina on October 24, the Conquerors were 3-5 overall and 1-2 in the Hacienda League. Everybody wrote them off. CIF Finals? At this point all Los Altos and head coach Dale Ziola wanted was one win.
Well they got that one win the next week against Diamond Ranch and they just kept on winning. Los Altos proceeded to win five straight advancing all the way to the Central Division title game against Colony. What changed? Part of it was the Los Altos defense making big plays and another part was the running of Tyler Nevens who finished with over 1600 yards on the ground. But the main part, the overriding factor, was the coaching of Ziola and his staff.
Instead of panicking, Ziola stayed the course. He continued to encourage, teach and guide his team out of the valley, over the hill and nearly to the pinnacle before falling short in the championship.
With schools like Charter Oak, Kaiser, Monrovia and eventual champ Colony nobody expected Los Altos to be a contender. And especially not after losing two of its first three league games. But Ziola made it happen and has turned Los Altos back into a great program. Dale Ziola is our Central Division Head Coach of the Year.
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