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December 6, 2022

Live Oak High football team in solid position entering stretch run

Live Oak High football coach Mike Gemo likes where his team is at as it enters the stretch run in the Blossom Valley Athletic League Mount Hamilton Division season. 

The Acorns are 5-1 overall and 1-0 in league play following a resounding 41-14 win over former nemesis Oak Grove on Oct. 8. Diego Castellanos had a breakout game receiving, hauling in a career-high six catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. 

“We found a matchup we liked, and he was getting open and making nice runs after the catch,” Gemo said. “So the yards piled on for him.”

A baseball standout, Castellanos played football in his freshman season but didn’t suit up in the pads his sophomore or junior year so he could focus on the former. Gemo was happy Castellanos decided to play football his senior year, and with good reason. 

“When he came on as a freshman, we knew he was a good athlete and tougher than a lot of people gave him credit for,” Gemo said. “So we were really disappointed he didn’t play after freshman year because we saw something in him. He’s grown and he’s a tough kid and not afraid of competition, and we really like what we’re seeing out of him.”

Gemo also likes what he continues to see out of senior running back/linebacker Jordan Fuentes, who is one of the most consistent and productive players the program has had in the last 10 years. All Fuentes did against Oak Grove was rush for 173 yards and four TDs on 21 carries. 

“Once Jordan gets the ball, he’s hard to tackle,” Gemo said. “He’s fast and runs behind his shoulder pads really well. And defensively, he’s understanding what we’re doing and flying around and loves making plays.” 

Fuentes and fellow linebackers Everett Wallace and Keaton Dietz were part of a defense that played “lights-out,” Gemo said. Wallace had a game-high 14 tackles, Dietz had 12 including a sack and Fuentes a fumble recovery. 

“One of their touchdowns we gave them a short field and their other score was a pick-6,” Gemo said. “Other than that, our defense played well. I’d say maybe Oak Grove had 175 yards of offense.”

Gemo said when things are going well, the Acorns are getting pressure into the opposing team’s backfield and all 11 guys are flying to the ball. Senior Landon Stump also had a strong game, completing 11-of-15 passes for 174 yards. 

Live Oak plays at Santa Teresa on Oct. 14 before closing out the regular-season with games against Lincoln, Leland and Christopher. The battle for the championship will most likely involve four teams: Live Oak, Santa Teresa, Lincoln and Christopher. 

“We’ve got a good one against Santa Teresa,” Gemo said. “They’re playing well right now, they’re well coached and they’ve got some big dudes that should challenge us. They do a lot of good stuff on offense and they’re pretty balanced. I look forward to the game because it should be a good one.”

Sports editor Emanuel Lee can be reached at [email protected]

Emanuel Lee
Sports Editor of the Gilroy Dispatch, Hollister Free Lance and Morgan Hill Times. PR of 3:13.40 at the 2019 CIM. Hebrews 12:1.

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