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McClymonds football coach near retirement hopes to add to title haul - FlagSpin

McClymonds football coach near retirement hopes to add to title haul

McClymonds coach Michael Peters prowls the sidelines earlier this season.

McClymonds coach Michael Peters prowls the sidelines earlier this season.

Eric Taylor/SBLive Sports

Michael Peters was still on the field well after practice Thursday night, answering questions about his pending retirement as McClymonds football coach. 

An assistant coach asked him about dinner. It was after 8 p.m. 

“That’s sorta what I mean,” Peters said. “I won’t get to dinner until at least 9 or maybe later. That’s just the nature of the beast.” 


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The “beast” has been more than good to him, Peters said. Great, in fact. 

He has garnered numerous local and national coaching awards thanks to the Warriors’ winning ways — 121 victories and 15 defeats over 11 seasons with four state and 11 league championships. Not bad for a school with an enrollment of roughly 250. 

Peters, a 1986 McClymonds graduate, and the Warriors (8-2) play for their seventh regional title at 1 p.m. Saturday, when they travel to Marin Catholic-Kentfield (12-1) for the Division 3-A championship game. 

“Everywhere I go people know about Mack football,” he said. “Not just around here. I’ve been down to Southern California and they recognized the black and orange, too.” 

Running back Derrick Blanche and De La Salle-Concord host Clovis North on Friday for the Northern California 1-AA title.

Senior wide receiver Henry Souza and his Acalanes-Lafayette teammates host Esclaon on Friday in the NorCal 3-AA title game,


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But Peters isn’t into fame. With his son Marcus picking off passes as a veteran NFL cornerback, the family name is already all over football circles.  

Peters never has been into flash or showboating, rings or trophy celebrations. What he loves most about coaching kids — specifically kids from West Oakland — is getting them out and seeing them make good lives for themselves. 

Saturday’s games

CIF Northern Regional Football Championship Bowl Games

(All games at 6 p.m. unless noted)

Division 1-A: Pittsburg (13-0) at Folsom (11-2)
Division 2-A: El Cerrito (12-1) at Los Gatos (11-2)
Division 3-A: McClymonds (8-2) at Marin Catholic (12-1), 1 p.m.
Division 4-A: Palma (9-4) at Hughson (10-3)
Division 5-A: Woodland Christian (13-0) at Orland (11-1)
Division 6-A: Colusa (12-0) at South San Francisco (12-1)
Division 7-A: Lincoln-San Francisco (9-3) at Strathmore (10-4)

“Maybe what we taught them helped them to be good citizens, get good jobs, get along with groups of people — lead even,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ve led them to their next great adventure and to the straight and narrow.” 

As rewarding as it all is, the demands and pressures of running the program have become a strain, he said. He’s 55 and in the pst few years he has lost his mother and several coaching contemporaries and dear friends, including Delton Edwards, Phillip Cahuya and Dean Hodges. 


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Between game-planning, practice, checking on grades and answering calls from college coaches and reporters, days and meals run late into the night. It’s more demanding than it was when he was a McClymonds assistant coach from 1992 to 2012. 

Peters said he has his own children and grandkids to consider. And mostly, his own health. He can’t wait to get out fishing with the coaching trio that have been with him since the beginning: defensive coordinator Curtis McAuley, Jason Walton (running backs) and Lale Taiese (defensive line). 

“There’s a lot of stress with all this winning,” Peters said. “It never seems quite good enough.” 

They’re going to have to be very good to knock off a Marin Catholic squad led by Peters’ good friend, coach Mazi Moayed. The Wildcats have a similar resume as Mack, with a record of 88-14 since 2015. They’ve won three regional titles and took the state 4-AA title in 2021. 

Marin Catholic is led by first-team All-Marin County Athletic League running back/defensive back Charles Williams, MCAL Lineman of the Year Mario Crocitto and Defensive Player of the Year Zach Taylor. 


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McClymonds had too much speed and size for the Wildcats in three previous meetings, all Warriors victories. This year’s squad is led by the speedy duo of Redmani Albert and Tajir Golden, who combined for seven touchdowns last week in a 56-0 win over Skyline in the Oakland Section title game. 

Peters, who plans to remain on campus as the girls flag football coach, said he gets no sense that the Warriors are trying to send him out with a state championship. 

“I hope they just do it for themselves,” he said. “It’s a great group of kids and coaches. I can’t imagine a better group to go out with.” 

SBLive Sports senior editor Mitch Stephens covers high school sports for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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