Freshman football player scores special touchdown



Freshman football player Merin Santos #3 is helped up by teammate Jojo Martinez #54 after scoring his first touchdown


“Sometimes things are bigger than the game itself” – That is freshman football head coach, Joe Bagley’s philosophy on football. It is a philosophy that he brings to his team.


Wide receiver Merin Santos, is one of the most beloved players on the freshman team. His father fell sick, being diagnosed with cancer in the head, but was able to make it to the team’s game on October 14 vs. Yuba City. The coaches and players made it their priority to get Merin into the endzone for the first time all year, with his dad watching from the stands. 

 “The play call was Cat 32 Iso,” center Jojo Martinez said. “It took him three tries to get in because we weren’t blocking well enough for him to get in. But we got him in there.”

 The Roseville freshman team was up 7-0 over Yuba City. The Tiger defense came up with a takeaway, giving the offense prime field position to get into the endzone. The offense got close to the goal

line and subbed in Santos with one goal in mind: get Merin a touchdown.

After two failed attempts, Merin followed his lead blocker, Julian Venegas, and got into the endzone. The Roseville sideline went absolutely nuts, knowing how much this touchdown meant for Merin, but most importantly, Merin’s dad.

 “It was really important for his dad. It was really important for the team and it was really important for him,” fellow wide receiver Will Mello said. “We all know that his dad has been going through a tough time, but [Merin’s] handled it really well, and he’s done a great job and he’s come to every single practice, and he still shows up with his dad and helps him a lot. So this is really important for him and a really important time for him and his dad.”

 Players, parents and coaches all saw how cool the touchdown was, and what positive effects it will have on Roseville football and the Santos family for the future.

 “I think it was absolutely amazing. I think it’s something Merin will be able to reflect on one day when his father is not around, when that time comes,” says Bagley. “It was just great to see his teammates lift him up and rally together and really get him in the endzone when 

we needed to.”

The team hoisted Merin onto their shoulders in celebration, knowing how proud Merin’s father was feeling from the stands. 

 “I know he’s really proud,” Merin said. “You know, he was scared of me playing football at first just because of my size. But, seeing me in the endzone for him was really heartwarming for him and my family.”    

Merin believes in coach Bagley’s philosophy, that football is bigger than the game itself. 

“It just shows that they’re always there for you. You know, we’re a family, and this just proves that they always have your back,” Merin said. “The family and the bonds that you make during football are like none other.”