By Joselyn Garcia
Ralph Jimenez has replaced Judd Hayes as head coach of the Hi-Tide football team for the 2008-2009 season. Jimenez was previously the offensive coordinator at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High where he helped lead the team to its first district title in school history.
“I felt that [football] was my calling,” Jimenez said. “[I am] trying to have an impact on young people’s lives, as I was impacted growing up.”
Jimenez is implementing a new concept of having no team captain, so he can determine which players get to play each game based on their level of focus, work ethic, and discipline throughout practice.
“My goals for the season are to try to get these kids to think positive, work together, and become the most disciplined team in Dade County,” Jimenez declared. He believes that without discipline, a person cannot achieve anything in life. According to middle linebacker Hafitd Trejos, a sophomore, the team’s motto is ‘PHD’ – poor, hungry, determined.
Despite the boost of discipline, the Hi-Tides face a shortage f players and lack of size and speed. “We don’t have a huge number of kids that participate in the football program and therefore we don’t have very much depth,” Jimenez explained. “If an individual gets injured, there’s really no one there to fill and step up to their position.” To overcome the deficit of players, Jimenez trains his players to be the smartest on the field.
The team is hungry to build upon last year’s twowins, the first in years of Beach High football. Over the course of the summer, Jimenez had them practice seven weeks straight, for three hours a day. Now that school has started, their practices have been shortened to a still rigorous, two and a half hours.
Currently the Hi-Tides are 1-1. “Just come, watch us, and see for yourself,” said left tackle offense player Enrique Almaraz. “It’s a new year, new coach, new players, new game.”