In the previous seven seasons, 3A Littleton football has never had more than three wins in a given year.
Now in 2022, after four games, the Lions and head coach Ricky Manzanares are a perfect 4-0.
For taking the Littleton football program to new heights this season, Manzanares is this week's Broncos High School Coach of the Week.
Manzanares' goal since the off season has been to have the team be better today than yesterday. With that mentality, Manzanares is hoping to guide the Lions to their first playoff appearance since 2008.
Ricky Manzanares bio
Record at Littleton: 5-9
Overall record as head coach: 5-9
Quotes from Ricky Manzanares
Why do you coach?
Manzanares: I coach football for the players. The most rewarding thing in life for me is to help awaken an expectation for greatness within a player and watching them grow to their highest potential on and off the field. I love all of the players that have played for me and I'm not afraid to let them know that.
Why do you coach the way you coach?
Manzanares: I grew up watching my dad coach football. His passion for the players and the strategy of the game were infectious. He coached with a fierce passion and huge open heart for the players he coached. Watching him coach like that from an early age made a huge impression on me and I believe I naturally coach in that way now.
What do you think it's like to be coached by you?
Manzanares: I believe that it is probably extremely challenging and just as rewarding. At least that is my hope. I know that I push the players very hard in all that they do, towards the goal of awakening an expectation within them for success in football and in all areas of life. That has been very easy to do with this team though. I hope that they're also having a lot of fun at the same time.
What has been your favorite memory from being the HC at Littleton?
Manzanares: My favorite memory of coaching here at Littleton happened last Friday night after the game. I walked into the locker room to talk with a player and the whole team was singing a song together as loud as they could. They were all so happy that they're hard work was paying off and I could tell they all loved that they were enjoying success together as a team. No ego's or show for the crowd, that was for them, that was fun to see.
What does the sport of football and this team mean to the community of Littleton?
Manzanares: I believe this sport and this team mean a lot to the Littleton community. I have personally had many people congratulate us for our success so far, inside and outside of the school. We had great support from the community last year when things were not as good as they are now and that has only grown since. I think I speak for our players and coaches that we appreciate the support from the school and the community regardless of our record.
What has it been like for you and the program to start this season 4-0?
Manzanares: I think the best way to describe what starting 4-0 has been like is rewarding. Coaching alongside my cousin and seeing a shared vision for this team beginning to come to fruition has been extremely rewarding. The coaching staff and the players put in a lot of work this off season. Our goal since the off season has just been to be a better team today than we were yesterday. We also realize that there is a lot of work left do to and we all just attack it one day at a time. This team loves to be around each other everyday and working hard together towards success, players and coaches. The players can't get enough of the weight room, film room, and practice field. They push us as coaches as well, they honestly get mad at me if I give them a day off.
Describe what it has took to get this team from where it was when you first started to where it is today?
Manzanares: We have come a very long way from when I started coaching at Littleton. The easy answer would be to say that it has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point. My wife and son have sacrificed a lot to allow me to work hard for these players. The truth is though, that we have a great nucleus of players on this team that work extremely hard and do not let themselves or their teammates settle for anything less than greatness. As a coach, it is very easy to achieve success when the players lead and push themselves and everyone around them so hard everyday.
Story Written By: Dan Whitaker/CHSAANow.com
Photo Credit: Ray Chen/ArrayPhoto.com