Young Team, New Coach

By: Natalie Maestre

“It actually happened by accident.  I happened to run into Coach Montoya at school…”

These are the words of the Miami Springs football team’s newest coach, Gregory Maestre, who is now in charge of the defensive line.  

The former Thoroughbred played on Hialeah’s defensive line in the mid 90’s and was even offered a scholarship to Bimidji State University in Minnesota.  Since then, he has moved to the Springs and has two daughters who are Golden Hawks themselves.  Over the summer, he accompanied his children to get their physicals done at the school with the hopes of being able to talk to coach Green about possibly assisting during the softball season.  Instead, he ran into his former teammate who was looking for a coach.  “Coach Montoya and I played High School football together over at Hialeah High,” he says.  “Coach Montoya was in need of a new D-line coach, and asked me if I would be interested.”  In fact, Coach Montoya recounts the situation in a similar fashion.  “I remembered him immediately and remembered the type of person and player he was and knew he would be a perfect fit for our program and players.”  

While it was a tough adjustment juggling home life, work, and now coaching, Coach Greg started working with his D-Line in late August, before the Mater scrimmage.  It has been a rough ride, “It’s a young team,” he says, “composed mainly of freshmen and sophomores.”  In fact, the only senior on the team is Jose Prieto, who happens to play defense and offense each game.  Not only that, but the team has had to battle through injuries as well.  DeAngelo Thompson suffered a knee injury against Westland and only just came back recently against North Beach.  That same day, Alexander Vargas injured his ankle.  Not to mention, Damion Cerrano was only able to start practicing mid-season due to a preexisting COVID related issue.  

Still, the new coach has hope.  In the beginning of the season, he said, “I see improvement every week, and expect them to continue to improve as the season goes on.”  If one were to look beyond the scores, this statement has been true.  While Springs did lose badly against Central, they were able to move the ball all the way to the one-yard line, and then beat Miami Lakes 22 zip.  And, while they may not have won the next two games, they were able to score and move the ball more consistently.  Coach Montoya is seeing the results himself, saying that “they seem more confident and technically sound,” since coach Greg’s arrival. 

So, despite the rocky season, Coach Greg has enjoyed his experience at his rival school and would have no issue coming back for the Spring Season, or the 2022-23 school year.  

Luckily, Coach Greg will see he has nothing to worry about, because according to Montoya, he will be back. 


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