Football: Maranatha Doubles Win Total from Last Season; Moreno, Auguste, Parker All Play Huge Roles in Minutemen Resurgence

Published : Thursday, November 9, 2017 | 6:32 AM

L-R-Jacob-Moreno-Chandler-Auguste-Awan-Parker

Kwon Peterson has been the face of the Maranatha football program over the last few years.

The senior quarterback leads the area with 21 TD passes and he’s helped coach Steve Bogan in a reversal of fortune in 2017.

MHS was 3-6-1 last year, because of low numbers at the small school, and more so, because the Minutemen were literally never playing with its full lineup due to a season of injuries to key players.

This season, though, Bogan and Peterson have seen the Minutemen (6-4) double their wins from a year ago and Peterson has done more than his part.

But none of this would be possible without the production and leadership of seniors Chandler Auguste and Awan Parker, as well as sophomore Jacob Moreno.

The Maranatha trio make contributions in all three phases of the game.

Parker, Moreno and Auguste all play in the Minutemen defensive backfield and they all have done damage on both the receiving and rushing end on offense.

Moreno is what we consider, along with Poly’s Jackson Hayes, as the two baddest dudes in Pasadena under 145 pounds.

The sophomore has 246 yards rushing, and has caught 22 passes for 377 yards, which includes 4 touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, Moreno is third in tackles with 88, his two interceptions are tied for a team-high, and he has a Pick-6.

Moreno is a kid, who is anything but imposing in terms of appearance, but keep an eye on No. 21, because wherever the ball is, Moreno is always nearby.

And just to see him battle through injury after injury and in some cases, Moreno has made appearances in a game or two many weren’t sure he’d even suit up for has inspired many in his locker room.

His ability to make plays, whether that being a diving catch, a special teams big gain or a third or fourth attempt to break loose from a defender makes Moreno a very fun athlete to watch.

“Jacob is one of the most intense players that I have coached,” Bogan said. “He is a pedal to the metal type player. He has a tremendous understanding of the game and always leaves everything on the field.”

Moreno also is a good student and quality kid off the field.

He credit parents Lisa and Pascual Moreno for helping him become the player and person he is today.

“I see my role on this team is to just help my teammates make plays and have everyone involved in the game,” Moreno said. ” I think we turned the corner as a program, because we just all jelled together better as a team. We are a young team and we just all feed off each other. I’m most proud of how we turned the corner this year and we are heading to playoffs. We just all made each other better.”

And despite being a sophomore, Moreno has earned the respect of his teammates.

“Jacob brings the heart and attitude into the field. He is fearless and is willing to play any position and do anything he can to help our team win, and I love him for that,” Maranatha quarterback Kwon Peterson said.

Auguste is another Maranatha player that isn’t going to physically intimidate anyone.

At maybe 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds, Auguste wouldn’t immediately look like a game changer.

But the senior’s contributions on both sides of the ball have been enormous.

He became someone so vital to the success, that without Auguste this year, the Minutemen season would almost certainly be over, instead of getting ready for Aquinas on Friday night.

Auguste has 14 catches for 207 yards and two touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, though, is where he leaves his biggest mark.

Auguste is second (behind Luis Saenz’ 113) on MHS with 98 tackles

“Chandler is our number one defensive player on the field. He does it on offense too, but he’s been our main reason for success on the defensive side of the ball all season,” Peterson said.

Auguste said parents Emile and Mavis Auguste, and brother, Dessan Coleman are to be credited with his evolution in being an even better kid and student than he is a player.

“I see my role for the team as a leader by leading through the way I play and not as much as what I say,” Auguste said. ” For offense, I see myself as a guy that can find holes in the defense and make a play after I catch the ball, and on defense, I’m a safety who can come up and be a run stopper. We came out this year with an attitude that we were going to be better than we were last year. Our mind was in a better place this year.”

Auguste’s coach loves everything about him.

“Chandler, from his freshman year to this year, has improved his game tremendously,” Bogan said. “He is fast, quick, smart and plays without fear. He is probably our surest tackler as well.”

Parker is, without question, Maranatha’s ‘big-play’ athlete, and is arguably one of the area’s best playmakers.

After transferring from Pasadena two years ago, Parker has been a guy Bogan could put anywhere and on any side of the ball and something big could happen at any moment.

He said he wasn’t going to grow as a football player at PHS, because he had “too many distractions,” and the decision to join the Minutemen has afforded him his first CIF playoff game Friday night at Aquinas.

Parker has 36 carries for 327 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns.

He leads MHS with 34 receptions for 590 yards and he’s tallied 8 receiving TD’s.

Parker also has 24 tackles on defense, and two interceptions.

“Awan is a great playmaker. He is a lockup corner and definitely my go-to receiver,” MHS quarterback Kwon Peterson said. “He is a great vertical receiver, but he can also make a 5-yard hitch into a 60-yard touchdown.”

Parker wears his emotions on his sleeve and leaves it all out on the field.

He’s also got arguably the area’s most vocal fan in his grandma, May Fuller, who can be heard cheering on Parker before, during and after every play.

Parker also credits parents, Wanda Fuller, and Anthony Parker as setting the table for him to grow as a player and more importantly, as a person.

It can’t be overstated how dangerous Parker is once he’s got his hands on the ball, and regardless where he is on the field.

“Awan is one of the most gifted players that I’ve ever coached,” Bogan said. “What he has, that many don’t notice, is great vision. He sees the field, and what is going on, as well as anybody.”

Parker knows he has a number of roles and he excels at each of them.

“I need to be a big-play guy on offense, and a shut-down corner on defense, and guarding the other team’s best receiver,” Parker said. “We got better this year because we were more cohesive and turned the corner together. I am most proud that we didn’t give up on each other, fought for one another and made the playoffs. I am glad I got to showcase my talent more this year.”

Parker, Auguste and Moreno all said it’s been ‘an honor’ to play for a coach with four CIF championships in Steve Bogan, but they also said that as much as Bogan teaches them on the field, they are most thankful for what he and his staff teach them about being quality young men, and the life lessons they’ve been afforded within his program.

Quotable:

Maranatha coach Steve Bogan: “The biggest factor in our turn-around is injuries. Last years team was decimated by injuries, and never quit. This year’s team, without much depth, did get hurt by injuries, especially in the middle of the year. However, there weren’t as many as last year, and they weren’t season ending.

I think this group of kids learned from last year and were a little more focused in the weight room, and with their conditioning and flexibility. Assistant Head Coach Antoine Peterson, who handles our strength and conditioning has done a tremendous job in this area.”

Getting To Know Jacob Moreno:
Favorite Team: Dodgers
Favorite Athlete: Barry Sanders
Favorite Musical Artist: Travis Scott
Musician People Might Be Surprised I Like: Sade
Famous Person (Alive or Dead) I’d Like A Conversation With: Kobe Bryant

Getting To Know Chandler Auguste:
Favorite Team: Eagles
Favorite Athlete: Kobe Bryant
Favorite Movie: Training Day
Favorite Musical Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Musician People Might Be Surprised I Like: Nicki Minaj
Famous Person (Alive or Dead) I’d Like A Conversation With: Tupac

Getting To Know Awan Parker:
Favorite Team: Steelers or Cavaliers
Favorite Athlete: Lebron
Favorite Movie: Paid in Full
Favorite Musical Artist: GMG/Lanelife
Musician People Might Be Surprised I Like: Justin Bieber
Famous Person (Alive or Dead) I’d Like A Conversation With: Rihanna

Maranatha 2017 Schedule-Results:
August 25: Maranatha 34, Rim of the World 7
September 1: Maranatha 36, Pasadena 21
September 8: Maranatha 42, Azusa 7
September 15: Maranatha 7, Campbell Hall 3
September 23: Brentwood 42, Maranatha 3
September 28: Poly 29, Maranatha 0
October 6: Valley Christian 63, Maranatha 14
October 13: Maranatha 40, Fillmore 21
October 20: Maranatha 58, Whittier Christian 29
October 27: Heritage Christian 53, Maranatha 32
November 10: Maranatha at Aquinas at 7

Olympic League Standings:
Valley Christian (8-2 overall, 3-0 in league)
Heritage Christian (8-1, 2-1)
Maranatha (6-4, 1-2)
Whittier Christian (4-6, 0-3)