• WHAT: Parents and family members are invited to help the players dress their helmets with decals.
• WHEN: Sunday at 2 p.m.
• WHERE: East Union High, near the practice field
• CONTACT: For more information on Lancer Family Football Day, or the East Union Quarterback Club, visit www.eastunionfootball.com or contact (209) 597-9002.
East Union establishes QB Club
When Anthony Alcaraz joined the East Union football program in 2011, he was bestowed the responsibility of Director of Football Operations by head coach Willie Herrera.
With such a heavy title came some heavy lifting.
Money would be Alcaraz’s chief concern finding it, raising it and asking for it ensuring the decades-old program had the means to purchase equipment.
Imagine his surprise when he first checked the program’s bank ledger and found nothing but red numbers.
“Negative,” Alcaraz said. “When I first joined this program, we were negative in the bank account. I don’t remember by how much, but we had no money.”
It’s been a hard road to recovery, but Alcaraz says the program is finally in good financial standing. East Union’s account has been replenished thanks to sponsorships, donations and fund-raisers, such as the wine-tasting event held earlier this summer at Delicato Vineyards.
The evening featured catering by Fagundes Meats, and a silent auction and raffle.
“We’re in good standing, but not great,” Alcaraz warned. “We still have our struggles.”
He’s hoping the biggest are behind Manteca Unified’s second-oldest football program. To ensure the safe-keeping of the East Union football program well into the future, a quarterback club was created.
The club was recognized by the state of California in March, and it’s believed to be the first of its kind on the campus at the corner of Northgate Drive and Union Road.
The club’s mission is to raise money for equipment and other expenses at all three levels. During years, Alcaraz said the coaching staff was forced to ask students to pay for their own shoulder pads.
“We want to raise money for the football team in order for us to buy the pads and equipment that we don’t have,” he added. “Our shoulders pads are very old. Some are rusty.”
The Quarterback Club hasn’t wasted time. It will host a Beer and Brats fund-raiser on Saturday, Nov. 23. This Sunday, the families of current players have been invited to campus for Lancer Family Football Day.
Parents will help the players dress their helmets with decals in preparation for the season’s first contests.
East Union gets a taste for the real thing on Saturday, Aug. 24, with an all-levels scrimmage at former Valley Oak League foe Ceres. The Lancers kick off the season one week later against Grace Davis with the first of four consecutive home games.
East Union is just 2-18 under coach Herrera and last reached the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason in 2010. Still, there’s feeling among those closest to the program that the tide is finally turning in the Lancers’ favor.
“When coach Herrera took over, I came in a year after his philosophy was to change the program,” Alcaraz said. “He said, ‘Anthony, I want to start a quarterback club. I want to put a different face on this program.’
The club meets on the second Wednesday every month and meetings are open to the public.
Carlos Herrera is president of the QB club, while Alcaraz serves as vice president.
For more information on the quarterback club, visit www.eastunionfootball.com or contact (209) 597-9002.
“We want everybody to feel like they’re a part of this program, from the alumni to the parents of the kids today,” Alcaraz said. “We want to invite those that had grandkids that came here; want them all to feel welcome.”