Under the Friday night lights, Melvin Gordon presented Joseph Tagaloa, Head Coach of the Segerstrom High School football team, with Chargers Coach of the Week honors. The night was especially memorable for the coach, the team and students as it was the homecoming game for the Jaguars.
Along with the honor, the team received $1,000 to help fund their program – something that they are grateful for, said Nick Canzone, Athletic Director of Segerstrom High.
"It's big for our kids to have the Chargers here," Canzone said. "We get overlooked by some of the bigger programs and they get all the recognition, but our kids are working hard and doing things right. Our coaches do a great job, so for the Chargers to come out and recognize that, it means a lot to our community and our program. A program like ours, fundraising is hard. Every penny we get, this goes towards equipment, it goes towards our banquets, so we'll be able to use this money in a lot of ways and really benefit our kids."
While presenting Tagaloa with the award, Gordon also participated in the coin toss and greeted Jaguars players as they ran on the field before kickoff. For him, attending a high school football game brought back a lot of good memories.
"It means a lot just supporting kids in (Southern) California," Gordon mentioned. "It's cool. I didn't have this, so it's always dope to come out here and give them a reason to smile. It brings back memories, you know? The turf, the atmosphere is tight, it's good. When you make the plays, people here are close to you so you hear everything."
Amidst selfies and handshakes, Gordon was able to share a little advice to the young players.
"Play hard and have fun," he remarked. "Don't take it too seriously. You can get caught in the recruiting and things like that. It's really not about that. … It's all about just having fun with your buddies."