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Pleasanton Preps: Vic's all-star run on Foothill chain gang ends after 33 years

Also: Falcons' water polo awards, both football teams lose in playoffs

Step into Vic's All-Star Kitchen on Main Street in Pleasanton and it's easy to see how much local sports hold a spot in the heart of Vic Malatesta.

A longtime Pleasanton resident and local sports supporter, Malatesta has hundreds of pictures of local teams and players adorning the walls of the restaurant. His menu items all carry names of local coaches or other sports figures from the local high schools.

Visit the restaurant and chances are Malatesta will come out and spend some time at your table, talking sports and making sure your day is going great.

But unknown to many, Malatesta's been giving to the local sports community far beyond the walls of his eatery. For the last 33 years, he has been part of the chain gang at Foothill home football games.

That's right, every Foothill home game for the last 33 years has seen Vic as part of the group tasked with manning the first down poles and chains along the visitors' sideline.

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In a day and age where schools must beg people to come out of the stands and work, Malatesta was a solid fixture on the sidelines for over three decades.

But that all came to an end on Nov. 3 when Malatesta worked his final game, and fittingly it was an Amador Valley-Foothill game that ended the run.

"I've been moving slower and slower," the 72-year-old Malatesta said of his decision to step down. "I always wanted to get to 33 years. That's my lucky number. I wore 33 when I played, and my grandkids wear No. 3."

As one can imagine, Malatesta saw his fair share of interesting moments working the sidelines.

"You really get a chance to see the character of a coach and players firsthand," Malatesta said. "It's been a lot of fun to get to know all the referees."

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In 33 years, there was a lot to see in the talent-laden East Bay Athletic League.

"I enjoyed seeing all the kids come through," Malatesta said. "Team-wise, seeing all those Monte Vista teams and De La Salle was special. De La Salle was the most disciplined team I saw. They never panicked and always stayed cool. The coaching there is something. Bob Ladouceur (the former coach and architect of the De La Salle program) was just a neat guy. Rick Sira (the former Amador coach) was such a nice, good person."

Then there was the home team.

"It was awesome to see all those Foothill teams," Malatesta said with a smile. "Those Foothill teams have always played in (coach Matt Sweeney's) image. They never quit and always fight to the end."

Whether he makes it to any games in the future -- you can bet on it -- it has been a tremendous time in his life.

"I have really enjoyed it," Malatesta said looking back at the run. "It got me out of the house and allowed me to watch a lot of football."

Water polo awards

The Foothill High School water polo teams held their annual awards banquet on Nov. 14. Awards went to:

JV girls: MVP, Kyra Thordsen; Defensive Player, Megan Chung; Most Improved, Oonagh Connolly.

Varsity girls: Co-MVP, Emily McElroy and Madison Weiglein; Most Improved, Kaylee Dillon; Falcon Award, Samantha Santana; All-League First Team, McElroy; All-League Second Team, Weiglein.

JV boys: MVP, Eugene Kruger; Defensive Player, Navid Tehranian; Most Improved, Ryan Xu; Falcon Award, Giovanni Minnite.

Varsity boys: Co-MVP, Matthew Dotson and Nathan Williams; Defensive Player, Harrison Carter; Most Improved, Drake Southern; Falcon Award, Brendan Cassidy; All-League First Team, Dotson; All-League Second Team, Carter; All-League Honorable Mention, Williams.

Football

The football seasons came to an end for both Pleasanton schools last weekend.

Both teams had advanced to the North Coast Section second round, but were eliminated. Amador fell to Freedom 38-20, and Foothill was knocked out by a 41-28 final against San Leandro.

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Pleasanton Preps: Vic's all-star run on Foothill chain gang ends after 33 years

Also: Falcons' water polo awards, both football teams lose in playoffs

by Dennis Miller / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 2:17 pm

Step into Vic's All-Star Kitchen on Main Street in Pleasanton and it's easy to see how much local sports hold a spot in the heart of Vic Malatesta.

A longtime Pleasanton resident and local sports supporter, Malatesta has hundreds of pictures of local teams and players adorning the walls of the restaurant. His menu items all carry names of local coaches or other sports figures from the local high schools.

Visit the restaurant and chances are Malatesta will come out and spend some time at your table, talking sports and making sure your day is going great.

But unknown to many, Malatesta's been giving to the local sports community far beyond the walls of his eatery. For the last 33 years, he has been part of the chain gang at Foothill home football games.

That's right, every Foothill home game for the last 33 years has seen Vic as part of the group tasked with manning the first down poles and chains along the visitors' sideline.

In a day and age where schools must beg people to come out of the stands and work, Malatesta was a solid fixture on the sidelines for over three decades.

But that all came to an end on Nov. 3 when Malatesta worked his final game, and fittingly it was an Amador Valley-Foothill game that ended the run.

"I've been moving slower and slower," the 72-year-old Malatesta said of his decision to step down. "I always wanted to get to 33 years. That's my lucky number. I wore 33 when I played, and my grandkids wear No. 3."

As one can imagine, Malatesta saw his fair share of interesting moments working the sidelines.

"You really get a chance to see the character of a coach and players firsthand," Malatesta said. "It's been a lot of fun to get to know all the referees."

In 33 years, there was a lot to see in the talent-laden East Bay Athletic League.

"I enjoyed seeing all the kids come through," Malatesta said. "Team-wise, seeing all those Monte Vista teams and De La Salle was special. De La Salle was the most disciplined team I saw. They never panicked and always stayed cool. The coaching there is something. Bob Ladouceur (the former coach and architect of the De La Salle program) was just a neat guy. Rick Sira (the former Amador coach) was such a nice, good person."

Then there was the home team.

"It was awesome to see all those Foothill teams," Malatesta said with a smile. "Those Foothill teams have always played in (coach Matt Sweeney's) image. They never quit and always fight to the end."

Whether he makes it to any games in the future -- you can bet on it -- it has been a tremendous time in his life.

"I have really enjoyed it," Malatesta said looking back at the run. "It got me out of the house and allowed me to watch a lot of football."

Water polo awards

The Foothill High School water polo teams held their annual awards banquet on Nov. 14. Awards went to:

JV girls: MVP, Kyra Thordsen; Defensive Player, Megan Chung; Most Improved, Oonagh Connolly.

Varsity girls: Co-MVP, Emily McElroy and Madison Weiglein; Most Improved, Kaylee Dillon; Falcon Award, Samantha Santana; All-League First Team, McElroy; All-League Second Team, Weiglein.

JV boys: MVP, Eugene Kruger; Defensive Player, Navid Tehranian; Most Improved, Ryan Xu; Falcon Award, Giovanni Minnite.

Varsity boys: Co-MVP, Matthew Dotson and Nathan Williams; Defensive Player, Harrison Carter; Most Improved, Drake Southern; Falcon Award, Brendan Cassidy; All-League First Team, Dotson; All-League Second Team, Carter; All-League Honorable Mention, Williams.

Football

The football seasons came to an end for both Pleasanton schools last weekend.

Both teams had advanced to the North Coast Section second round, but were eliminated. Amador fell to Freedom 38-20, and Foothill was knocked out by a 41-28 final against San Leandro.

Comments

Larry Annis
Vintage Hills
on Nov 22, 2017 at 10:17 am
Larry Annis, Vintage Hills
on Nov 22, 2017 at 10:17 am

Congratulations to Vic Malatesta for his community support both on and off the football field!


Rick
Parkside
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm
Rick, Parkside
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Very proud to have stood with Vic on the sidelines for years. We have shared some amazing games and watched FHS players dedication to the school. I add my thanks to Vic for all his community service! Well done Vic.


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