Everybody thought South Hills was going to be better in 2018. The Huskies were coming off a 9-2 season, had several key players returning and looked to be ready to turn a corner in head coach Matt Bechtel’s third year. But this good?
The Huskies were near perfect. In fact take away a State playoff game loss to Lawndale after South Hills had already won the CIF Division 6 Championship and it was a perfect season.
The Huskies rolled through the regular season and Hacienda League play wrapping up league with a 23-6 win over Charter Oak October 26. Then they beat Tustin in the first round of the playoffs before knocking off Mira Costa and Pacifica and then beating Oxnard 23-14 to win the CIF title at Covina District Field. Add it all up and South Hills was 14-0 before advancing to State.
Bechtel was firmly at the control, bringing it all together while mixing and matching his defensive and offensive alignments to put together a winning formula. Bechtel knew just when to heap praise on his team or hand out discipline. He benched a key player in his offense in a disciplinary action in the Tustin game to make a point that winning was all about a team effort and not just one individual.
His team bought in hook line and sinker and rolled to the championship for South Hills, which was its first since 2005. Matt Bechtel is the Mid Valley Sports Coach of the Year.