A story on today’s VC Star website looks at the reasons behind the exit of Grace Brethren High School from the spring season of football play and the future of the program at the school. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article. Grace Brethren High School is a ministry of Grace Church, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Simi Valley, Calif.
After a meteoric rise, Grace Brethren is resetting its football program. Here’s why
Scott Nandor says he’s not one to spout emotions.
Yet the tears were flowing last Saturday over a news release the Grace Brethren High Principal was posting regarding the school’s football team.
“I don’t do that much. People say I’m a Vulcan,” he said. “But I was crying as I sent that press release. That’s how badly I felt for our seniors. The last thing I wanted was for them not to be able to play.”
Grace Brethren announced that day that its renowned football program, which had won two CIF-Southern Section championships in its last three seasons and appeared in five title games in six years, would not play its three scheduled games in an already abbreviated spring season.
The program was down to 18 healthy players, and those depleted numbers were not enough to play games against vaunted Marmonte League opponents Calabasas, Oaks Christian and Westlake.
“I’m heartbroken for our seniors. I know how much playing these games meant to them,” said Nandor. “In the end, we just didn’t have enough players to keep everyone safe. We all came to that conclusion.”
The school’s action signals much more than the close of the 2021 spring season.
An end of an era
For the football program from the small Simi Valley private school that became the Giant that Could and Did, it closes the curtain on one era and marks the beginning of the next one.
Head coach Josh Henderson officially ends a sterling 10-year run that featured 94 victories, seven league titles, two CIF-Southern Section championships and one CIF-State crown. In a sparkling six-year period from 2014 to 2019, Grace Brethren posted a record of 73-11 and appeared in five CIF-SS championship games.
The school and Henderson announced in March that he would not return as head coach for the fall 2021 season. Both sides said the decision was mutual, and coach and school each express their steadfast gratitude.
“My experience at Grace has been so rich with relationships and love, and I will never be the same,” said Henderson. “It’s been a highly transformative experience for my family and me. My kids went to this school. I will always love Grace Brethren and be thankful for all the support from the school and the community.
“We would have accomplished nothing without them.”
Nandor returns the appreciation.
“Coach Henderson produced spectacular results,” he said. “He influenced young men just not in football, but in their lives. He stressed the commitment to God. It’s rare that someone with his skills and talents would remain at a small school for 10 years, and we were so fortunate to have him for that long.
Click here to read the complete article.