It’s been a whirlwind past few weeks for Troy Fast.
The Manteca Unified school board announced his hiring as principal at Weston Ranch High at the Feb. 12 meeting.
The next day Fast was already on campus.
He was no stranger to Cougar Country, previously serving as Assistant Principal at Manteca High for the past three years, and 10 years altogether. Coincidentally, Fast, as the new top administrator at Weston Ranch High, he was on duty when the Cougars – the boys varsity team was on a historic run having already clinched the Valley Oak League title – hosted the Buffaloes in the league finale held on Feb. 20.
“I got some strange looks from the Manteca fans,” recalled Fast, who had traded his Buffalo green for the maroon and gray of the Cougars.
He was still acclimated to his surroundings while becoming familiar with the new faces in this southwest community in Stockton when he and Athletic Director Roland Davis made the trip to Sacramento last Saturday.
Weston Ranch disposed of familiar VOL foe Central Catholic at Golden 1 Center otherwise known as home to the Sacramento Kings of the NBA while earning its second Sac-Joaquin Section Division III since 2016.
“it was all about the timing,” Fast said. “It was like jumping on this fast rollercoaster.”
He was thrilled to suddenly be associated with the Cougars, who had notched their 30-straight win of the year while knocking off plenty of the area’s powerhouse basketball teams.
More than that Fast was happy for the players under coach Chris Teevan. They would eventually become the first public school not to mention the first boys’ hoop program on this side of the Sac-Joaquin Section – San Joaquin County, in particular – to earn a berth to the elite CIF Northern California Open Division.
Meanwhile, Titus Haley, Weston Ranch’s 5-foot-4 junior guard, earned the Sportsmanship Award for this team at the section finals in Sac.
“We should do something special for him,” said Fast to his AD Davis.
They decided to stop to pay a visit to Haley in the classroom, showering him with praise and recognition for proudly representing the school.
For Fast, that was just one of his many examples from over the years of “cultivating a positive environment for students and placing them first.”
At MHS, he introduced and facilitated the Honor the Code recognition program, which recognized students for their positive decisions and choices.
Fast and Davis, on Wednesday, hit the road again, driving to Concord this time for the Cougars’ historic game at De La Salle.
The Spartans had won the Open Division some four years earlier.
Weston Ranch lost 48-42, coming to within two in the final minute thanks to Gavin Wilburn’s 3.
Even in defeat, the Cougars earned respect from De la Salle players, coaches, and fans.
In between the road trips, Fast also took part in the Junior Reserve Training Officers Corp’s military event hosted by Weston Ranch High.
What’s more, JROTC instructor Sal Reyes was named head football coach for the Cougars.
Fast is here for the long haul, he said.
“The kids are awesome and faculty has been great,” Fast said.