Finding your way home
Over seventy five years of San Joaquin Memorial history, athletics have always played an important role in the lives of students. Many have experienced wins and losses and learned lifelong lessons along the way. Teamwork, confidence, leadership and a love for the school community are values many walk away from the field with. These successes and values were guided by amazing coaches, many of whom are SJM alumni. To not much surprise, SJM has made a name for itself through not only by having a high quality education but also an extremely strong athletics program. A few of the SJM coaches which many of us know and love are Coach Goston, Coach Padilla and Coach Reynolds. All three of these coaches chose to come back to SJM so they could give back what Memorial gave to them.
Many alumni can still be found on campus today, while others have moved on to new challenges. This includes one of the varsity girl’s basketball coaches, Coach Reynolds. Our beloved Coach Reynolds, who was well liked by all students, left for a new experience of coaching; he is now at Fresno Pacific University coaching girl’s basketball. Reynolds was not only a coach who led the girls basketball team to three back to back Valley Championships, but he was a coach that built the foundation for athletes who have the shot to commit to play collegiate basketball. We know that Coach Reynolds will always have a special place in his heart for Memorial and his friendship and commitment will never be forgotten within the Memorial community.
Best friends are often met on the athletic field, unfortunately Coach Goston and Coach Padilla are not the perfect example of this. According to Mrs. Goston, "fun fact, they were not friends in high school!" Even though they grew up playing the game of football together from 1990 to 1994, their friendship did not develop until they both found their way back to SJM as they began coaching together in 2008. Their time at Memorial was spent playing a variety of sports. While Goston also participated in basketball, his primary sport was always football, and he played the positions of running back and free safety. Coach Padilla played a wide variety of sports too, including soccer, baseball and football. His two main focuses were baseball and football. In baseball he played shortstop, catcher and pitcher. In football he played inside linebacker, punter and a little bit of quarterback his freshman and sophomore years.
When they came back to Memorial to coach they had a common mission of winning valley championships. They had some good years and bad years, but they never gave up on their dream of producing athletic success at Memorial. In fact, their coaching has helped to produce several major athletes that now play collegiate ball.
When asked why they felt the need to coach at Memorial and stick with it for so many years. Goston replied “I always wanted to coach and teach. So during my senior year in college I came back to coach JV football under Jim Boone. He was the varsity coach at the time. So I started coaching in 1998 and in 2002 I was promoted to Varsity Offensive Coordinator and then in 2004 I took over as Head Varsity Coach when Jim Boone retired.”
Padilla said “I chose to come back to Memorial because it was a way to give back to a school that gave me so much. This school has instilled values, faith and character in me and to come back to teach and coach those very things I learned to high school students is something special.”
Both coaches are perfect examples of school pride and the sense of family that comes from Memorial. In fact, both coaches have special thoughts and opinions of what the Memorial family means to them. Goston likes "the family atmosphere but more importantly the championship standard our program has sustained decade after decade. We coach great kids and have supportive parents who want the best for our program."
While Coach Padilla explained that he values "the people and the respect our school stands for. We have a special tight knit community, it really is an extended family. It's the feeling of school pride and deep traditions of faith, values, character and commitment towards one another. The community, past and present, is something I hold dear to my heart. They are Memorial. When you see and talk to an SJM alum it feels like you never left (you will know more about this after you've been out of high school as long as we have). No matter how long it's been - Red and Blue forever!"
Memorial has seen its fair share of alumni come back to coach. In fact, it is the passion for Memorial that these alumni coaches bring that drives an athlete’s will to win. A lot of Memorials success comes from this shared spirit the coaches offer to the players. They played on the same field, they experienced the same traditions and they even had some of the same teachers that their players currently have (Garbo . . . just saying)!
Memorial athletics has definitely advanced itself through the years, but I think this is a reflection of the commitment from students, faculty, alumni and everyone else that is a part of our SJM family. Thank you coaches for your commitment to making Memorial a great place to be!