The Roosevelt Rough Riders football program has hired Aldo Parral as its
new head football coach for the 2018 season. Coach Parral was born and
raised in the Boyle Heights community and graduated in 1988 as a Rough
Rider himself. He is no stranger to the football community as he coached in
the 1990’s at Roosevelt and was associated with Boyle Heights Wolfpack
football for many years.
In 2017 the Riders ended their playoff run in the 2nd round of the Division II
City playoffs after losing to Huntington Park 32-9. The Spartans eventually
ended up winning the Division II championship over Cleveland 18-14.
Last season the Riders football program was slowly on the rise under
coach Ricardo Zepeda who had command of the squad over the last two
seasons. Suddenly, he resigned as Head Coach in February …?
Aldo Parral was suddenly hired in March but was not a candidate for the
position when the job officially opened.
When the rider football team was in search of a new head coach, Aldo
Parral was on the hiring committee and a Head Coach was ready to be
hired but unfortunately the candidate who was going to receive the position
pulled out at the last minute.
Roosevelt principal Ben Gertner approached Aldo and asked if he would be
interested in the job. Aldo replied with, “sure why not, I guess?” One of the
main reasons Coach Parral took the job with no hesitation was because he
loves football and has been a life long Roosevelt supporter. He felt the
program and school was in a bind due to the delay of trying to hire another
coach. Every school in the Eastern League, except Garfield was looking for
a Coach and it was going to be difficult to find a qualified candidate that late
in the year. Aldo felt it was a great opportunity to step in and help the
school and kids out.
Coach Aldo also said for selfish reasons he wanted to coach this team
because he knows and has coached many of these kids when they started
playing flag football for the Boyle Heights Wolfpack in 2007. He also had
coached many of these players when they were part of the Junior Varsity
squad in 2016. He felt that it would be an easy transition to step in, “given
all the circumstances with the kids and being part of the school for many
years,” Coach Parral said, “why not me?
Aldo gives credit to former coach Richard Zepeda for doing a great job
preparing these kids the last two years. Zepeda had done an amazing job
building relationships and a strong foundation for the future. Although many
players were disappointed with Coach Zepeda’s departure, they feel that
he left them with an excellent football experience.
An interesting note is that Aldo coached Richard Zepeda in the 90’s when
he was a player in high school. Coach Aldo began coaching shortly after
graduating from Whittier College in 1992. He was hired as an ESL teacher
and then shortly transitioned to Social Studies where he has been teaching
since 1993. In 1994, the first year he coached at Roosevelt, it was the
inaugural year of the Freshman/ Sophomore system, Frosh/Soph, and
Roosevelt went undefeated. In addition Aldo has also been part of the
Boyle Heights Wolfpack football program on and off for the last twenty
This season Parral has big expectations knowing he will have a great group
of kids returning but hopes they can stay healthy. The season is long but
depth is not very deep. Injuries could be a problem for the team as they
cannot afford to lose anyone. Coach mentioned that they were already
having issues as some players were already being affected by the injury
bug. He said, if everything works out, the team can easily be a contender
for the Eastern League title given that all schools except for Garfield will be
coming in with new head coaches.
There are many players to watch for this season including seniors, Santos
Rivera (LB/RB) a three year Varsity starter who will lead the defense in
search of a Championship ring; Luis Ramirez (C/DE) another three year
starter with a determination to be the best at everything he does; Jose
Suarez (TE/DE) an uncontrollable ball of energy who can change the game
with big plays; and junior Alfredo Sepulveda (TE/OLB) who plays the game
far beyond his years and always seems to be at the right place at the right
time. All four of these players will be the team leaders and have excellent
leadership, courage, respect from peers and experience to lead the team.
Other seniors that Coach expects to play a big role include, Matthew Tellez
(DB/RB) a three year Varsity starter with tremendous knowledge and skill in
the defensive backfield; Jose ‘Pepe’ Gomez (OL/DT) experienced linemen
with a mean streak; Aldo ‘AJ’ Parral (FB/LB) a tough player who is part of
the 1-2 punch at linebacker with Santos; Richard Cabrera (DB) one of the
better defenders in the league who will be drawing one-on-one matchups
with others’ best WR’s; Ramaje Brumfield (RB/DB) a newcomer to the
squad who has shown strong contributions and energy.
The juniors include three standout players in Frankie Cruz III (RB) who will
carry the load on offense and is expected to build upon his breakout
season last year; Ruben Castillo (OL/DE) one of the hardest working
individuals on the team who is constantly trying to get better and does not
quit; and finally Angel Ochoa (RB/DB) a former Wolfpack player of Coach
Parral who has blossomed into a player that can do it all and great things
are expected of.
In all, the 2018 edition of the Rough Rider football team seems strong and
can easily have great success while also likely to fall flat if injuries take their
toll. We will have to wait and see as the season unfolds…
Roosevelt will open up the season at Gardena High School August 17th at 7pm