BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield Drillers are welcoming in new head coach Michael Stewart, who is returning to his alma mater after playing for the Drillers in the 1980’s.
Stewart takes on his first head coaching gig, replacing Paul Golla, longtime BHS coach, who moved over to league rival Garces during the offseason.
Not easy to accept a new coach, especially for the seniors, but the team has been able to open up to the idea of starting a new chapter at BHS.
“We’re all building and gelling together and man, I’m so proud of these guys through the transition and as we’re working our way through, it’s not over, quite yet, but just about, but guys are doing outstanding," Bakersfield Head Coach Michael Stewart.
“He brought a sense of companionship and sense of harmony and bringing the team together as one unit and trying to strive for a same goal and that goal is valley," senior center Christopher Rivera said.
The Drillers will be looking for redemption in the Valley Championship after falling to Central last season.
And, they will continue dominating on defense learning from a former defensive back in the NFL. But, they also welcoming a new quarterback this season, taking over for Cam Williams, as Stewart hopes to open up the passing game along with a historic run game at BHS.
The players are excited about the changes.
“Our defense this year is going to be way more hard hitting, it’s going to be a lot more pressure. Our defense is different this year, but it’s a good different," senior WR/DB Isaac Jernagin.
“I don’t know how teams are honestly going to be able to stop this offense, we have great receivers, a great running back and I don’t know what you’re going to be able to do to stop them both," junior quarterback Ricky Easterwood.
Easterwood is the leading candidate to take over the starting job at QB and with Isaac Jernagin returning for his senior year, we can expect the offense to do some damage in 2019.
The Drillers open the season on the road at Calabasas.
Catch 23ABC Sports' "2-A-Days" segment previewing all Kern County high school football teams daily at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. leading up to the opening week of the 2019 season.
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