How Many Football Teams Does Half Moon Bay High School Field?

Half Moon Bay High School fields a Frosh/Soph and a Varsity Football team, which compete in the PAL Ocean Division.

What League and Section Does Half Moon Bay Compete in? Are There Opportunities For Post-Season Playoff Competition?

Half Moon Bay High School is a member in good standing of the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) and CIF Central Coast Section (CCS). The 18 team PAL football league is a three tiered "power league" consisting of Bay, Ocean and Lake divisions. Half Moon Bay has competed in the Ocean Division for several years, consistently placing in the top 3 spots. Half Moon Bay football is known as "between program", often voted as a Bay team; as in 2006 and 2012, when HMB was moved up.

The PAL Ocean Division qualifies its championship team and other "at-large" candidates for the Central Coast Section playoffs, a three week tournament wherein teams from all of the leagues in the CCS are seeded and arranged into 5 different playoff divisions determined by enrollment.

In its history, Half Moon Bay has won 11 League championships and 1 Central Coast Section championship.

Practice & Conditioning

What is the Practice Schedule?

Championship football requires a full commitment from both the athlete and his family. It is important that a player and his parents plan ahead so that the athlete can attend school and practice in a consistent and diligent manner. A player who cannot practice, cannot play, regardless of the reason. The Half Moon Bay Football Program has provided all those involved in the coming season with a detailed FOOTBALL CALENDAR. Parents and athletes are asked to check the FOOTBALL CALENDAR often and to schedule family functions, doctor and dental appointments, etc around the football team functions listed in the calendar. If an absence from, or tardy to, a football team function must occur, the coaching staff expects advance notification from the parent. The football calendar can be found on this site.

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Is There an "After School" Conditioning Program for Varsity Football Players at Half Moon Bay High School?

Yes. Various days throughout the winter and spring, however, our morning sessions must be attended to come after school. After school training is designed for extra work beyond that in the mornings and is available by coaches’ schedules.

Does Half Moon Bay have Spring Football Practice?

Yes. The Peninsula Athletic League allows each member school to have 10 days of after school Spring Football Practice, to be conducted near the end of each school year. Spring football practice includes offensive, defensive and kicking game practices in football cleats, shorts and t-shirts. No other football uniform equipment is allowed. Students invited to participate in Spring Football Practice must meet minimum academic standards (2.00 GPA) and have the permission of Coach Holden, Head Football Coach. Student/athletes who are engaged in a Half Moon Bay spring sport season will be "excused" from Spring Football Practice until their spring sport season has concluded.

Spring Football Practice begins in May and is 10 days long.

Summer Commitments

Does my Son Have to Attend Summer Workouts to be on The Varsity Football Team?

No. See section on "team cuts".  However, playing time does require attending a minimum number of summer sessions. There are 39 days of strength training sessions offered during the summer (see calendar). A prospective player needs to attend 25 complete classes. Please see calendar on this website and plan out your summer. (Varsity rule only. F/S encouraged, but 25 not required).  

If workout requirements are not met by August, the prospective player is still on the team, but will miss playing in games. (1-3 sessions short = sitting week #1 (vs. Hillsdale), 4-6 = weeks #1 & 2, 7-9 = weeks #1, 2 & 3, and so on). All players will participate in the scrimmage and be evaluated regardless of summer attendance.    

It is important to note that, summer training is essential to becoming a better athlete and to prevent injury. Moreover, the class work is necessary in understanding the complex offensive, defensive and special teams’ packages HMBHS runs. These workouts and class sessions are for a reason. Our whole team needs to enter the season strong so we can achieve the goals we set for ourselves.

Championships are built NOW, not in August!!

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Is There a Summer Football Program at Half Moon Bay High School That Would Improve and Maintain my Fitness Level and Athleticism While Teaching Me More About the Varsity Football Team's System and Practice Format?

Yes. A voluntary SUMMER FOOTBALL PROGRAM is offered after school ends in June. The Summer Football Program takes place during the first 6-7 weeks of the summer. The Summer Program meets from 9:00 am to 12:00  ... Monday through Friday. The three hour period includes 1.5 hours of conditioning and strength training followed by 1.5 hours of football practice in t-shirts and shorts. Wednesday's training session may include a 7 on 7 passing session against another school, film work or other football related training. Saturday passing tournaments are also an integral part of the Summer Football Program ... we usually participate in 2 Saturday summer passing tournaments (Terra Nova and CSM)

Those student/athletes who commit to and complete the Summer Football Program will have a distinct advantage over those who do not. Students wishing to participate in the Summer Football Program must meet minimum academic standards (2.0 GPA) and have the permission of Coach Holden, Head Football Coach and Justin Ferdinand, Athletic Director.


What Are The Team Rules?

The Cougar Football Program has developed a “Cougar Code of Conduct” that governs all those choosing to become a participant of either the Frosh/Soph or Varsity teams. The Code of Conduct ensures that all players and their parents understand the expectations, obligations and commitment required to remain in the Half Moon Bay Football Program for four full years. An athlete and his parents must sign the Code annually, indicating that they have read, understood and agree to adhere to the football guidelines. All portions of the Cougar Code of Conduct are administered and adjudicated at the discretion of the Head Football Coach, keeping in mind what is best for the Football Program and Team. The "Cougar Code of Conduct" can be found on this site.

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How do I Sign Up For Varsity or Frosh/Soph Football at Half Moon Bay?

See Coach Holden, or show up to the morning training sessions! At that point coaches will get players contact information and keep them informed on team events and practices. Incoming Freshmen can sign up by attending summer training beginning in June 16; M-F, 9am to 12am, or by contacting Coach Holden.

Half Moon Bay football prospects who intend to sign up for the varsity football team are reminded that they must meet minimum academic eligibility requirements (2.0 GPA) in order to begin the sign-up process.

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When is The First Day of REQUIRED Football Practice?

The first day of required varsity and frosh/soph football practice is Friday, August 15. Players will report to A-10 before practice for a chalk talk.  A double session practice structure in football cleats, shorts and practice jerseys will immediately follow check-in. Be sure to refer to your FOOTBALL PRACTICE CALENDAR for scheduled practices and details for the entire season. Please note that mandatory football practice begins before the first day of school. Please plan ahead so that you can attend all practice sessions. Remember, a player who cannot practice...cannot play.  Frosh/Soph players will get a separate practice schedule.

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What Kind of Equipment do I Need to Purchase for My Son to Play Varsity Football at Half Moon Bay High School?

The Half Moon Bay Football Program will provide your son with all the equipment he needs to play...with the exception of football cleats. Each player must provide his own shoes...preferably predominantly black in color with replaceable cleats. Be sure to get your shoes early and workout in them during the summer to properly "break them in". The Summer Football Program is a great opportunity to get your feet and shoes ready for the start of practice. Don't cheat your feet!

Varsity football equipment issue will be done throughout the summer in Coach Holden’s classroom. All forms must be turned in to get gear.

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How Do I Try Out For The Varsity Football Team and are There "Team Cuts"?

All players are evaluated daily regarding academics, cooperation, discipline, willingness to be coached, knowledge of system and athleticism...this is a year long process that occurs daily in and out of season. There are no "cuts"...as long as a youngster meets the expectations of the coaching staff, his classroom teachers and school administration...on and off the playing field...on and off campus...he will remain part of the team. Our varsity football teams historically begin with about 45 player prospects and finish the season with 25-30 players. The players who drop off or are dismissed from the team generally do so due to academic problems, failure to attend practice, undisciplined or inappropriate behavior.

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Does my Son Need a Physical Exam and Insurance to Play Football?

Yes. Each student/athlete must have passed a physical exam for tackle football, during the calendar year proceeding the first day of practice. Your son will NOT be allowed to practice without a physical exam and adequate insurance. Most athletes will get a physical exam from their own doctor.  It is a good idea to make your appointment as early as possible. Those athletes who are not properly insured may purchase insurance for tackle football through Half Moon Bay High School.  Ask your coach or main office for an insurance application.

The Sports Physical Release Form and the Emergency form can be found on this site. Or you may pick up forms from the coaching staff during Summer Training or in the main office.

Forms can be turned into Coach Holden or Justin Ferdinand anytime during the summer. All forms must be turned in by gear issue date: first day of season football.