The name Gino Torretta is prominently displayed on the scoreboard at the Pinole Valley High School football field.
Torretta was a star quarterback at Pinole Valley before winning the 1992 Heisman Trophy as a member of the University of Miami football team.
Lucas Bodwin, the head football coach these days at PVHS, is hoping to bring back a slice of those glory days over the next few years.
Bodwin, who played football at St. Mary’s College in Moraga in the late 1990s, realizes this won’t happen overnight.
The 2013 Pinole Valley High team is still a young team with only 20 of the 42 members being seniors.
“We’re still pretty green,” Bodwin said. “We’re a little thin on depth and we’re leaning on some kids who don’t have a lot of experience.”
Bodwin said what the team lacks in experience it makes up for in togetherness. This year’s squad is one that works hard and works together.
In addition, the most experienced part of the team is the offensive line, the most important part of any football squad.
Bodwin took over as head coach last year from long-time coach Steve Alameda, who in 2010 led Pinole Valley to an 11-1-1 record and a league championship.
In the new coach’s first season last year, the Spartans finished 3-7. Bodwin said that gives the team some motivation.
“They might be looking for a little redemption,” said Bodwin.
They’ll begin that quest Friday evening when they travel to Santa Rosa to take on Montgomery High School.
Bodwin said it will probably take a few years to return the team to contender status. There are a number of obstacles to overcome.
Among other things, Pinole Valley High has shrinking enrollment, giving athletic teams a smaller pool to choose from. The school now competes in the North Coast Section Division III category.
They also lack equipment. There are, for example, only 95 helmets for both the varsity and the frosh-sophomore team.
Nonetheless, Bodwin wants his team to play hard and his athletes to learn beyond the football field.
“I believe in teaching about life through the game of football,” he said.
Bodwin remembers some of his coaches who mentored him through his youth. He hopes to do the same at Pinole Valley High.
“If you are the messenger, you have to live the message,” he said.