100 and counting…


Sofia Vallederas

The student section celebrates Coach Drew Sander’s 100th win at the end of the Stony Point game. Sanders and the Vipers look for his 101st win at the first playoff game tonight against Bridgeland.

Kyra Bachick, Managing Editor

Only three minutes into the first quarter and seven points were already on the board for the home team. Positioned on the sideline, head coach Drew Sanders hoped this would mark his 100th career win. 

Sanders celebrated his 100th coaching career win last Friday at Monroe Stadium when the Vipers won their last district game 20-17 against the Stony Point Tigers. 

“The coolest thing was it was done at our home stadium,” Sanders said. “[We] got to have lots of fans there. It was a fun moment.  You never know how many wins you’re going to get as you head into the year, I hoped that I would get 10 wins.”

Sanders didn’t realize he had 90 wins until the beginning of the school year when submitting his questionnaire for newspapers. The idea of reaching his 100th win stuck with him.

“I’d say it’s something that I never really thought about much as I was coaching,” Sanders said. “In coaching, it’s kind of one of those things everybody shoots for, so I started thinking about it a little bit then thankfully we were able to win 10 games in the regular season.”

Sanders has been a coach at Vandegrift since the very beginning when the school opened in 2009. He calls Vandegrift a second home for him and his family. 

 “I’d say Vandegrift football means everything to me,” Sanders said. “I’ve been here since we started as a JV team. It has become home to me and my family. I’m Viper through and through.”  

Over the years Sanders has not only made amazing football players, but he has also created bonds with every team. Sanders instills a sense of camaraderie among the team as well as helping players improve their skills.

“[Coach Sanders] is very good about teaching technique on the field and also preparing us as a team to the best of his ability,” senior Pearson Seguina said. “He makes sure to tell us before every game that we are the reason he is here and that he loves us, and I believe that’s why we have such a great team culture.”

The players are not the only ones who have improved over the years. Sanders said he has grown as a coach and person.

“I [have] become a little more patient as I’ve grown older,” Sanders said. “I would sometimes be a little too hard on some of my young men when they would mess up or do something that was below our standard. Now the more I coach there’s still a demand for a lot for my guys, but being patient with them and understanding that everybody [has] a lot going on. So that’s been a big emphasis for me over the last 10 years. I think I’ve improved that.” 

Sanders and the team face Bridgeland tonight in the Bi-District Championship at 7 p.m. at Monroe Stadium.  They have sights set on the state game. 

“I want to win the state championship,” Sanders said. “That’s something that we’ve never done here and that would be amazing because it’s been a dream of mine. I would love to before I am done with coaching, it’s very hard to do. That’s my dream for this year’s team.”