ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — It’s early in the Alaska prep football season, but West High looks poised to make another run for a state championship. A big reason for the Eagles' early-season success is stepbrothers Bubba Mendoza and Kolton Ortiz.
Mendoza splits his time between quarterback and wide receiver while Ortiz is a full-time wide receiver. When Mendoza is under center, Ortiz is his favorite target.
“Sixty percent of my passes end up going to him for sure,” said Mendoza.
Their chemistry has been evident since the first game of the season against Soldotna High School. With the clock winding down, Mendoza found Ortiz for a big completion, setting up a game-winning quarterback sneak for Mendoza to defeat the Stars.
“He usually ends up being open, and I trust him,” said Mendoza. “I put the ball out there and he catches it.”
It’s a bond that goes back to when they first met on the football field.
“We’ve been playing since we were six or seven, and I actually met him when I was on a flag football team,” said Mendoza “We’ve been clicking ever since.”
The family ties don’t just stop with Ortiz and Mendoza -- their father Frank Mendoza is a running back coach for West.
“It’s always fun being out here with your kids being able to experience all these things with them," said Frank Mendoza. “You can’t help but take practice to the dinner table.”
West will need a big performance from Mendoza and Ortiz this Friday when number one Bartlett takes on second place West for the KTUU Tailgate Tour Game of the Week.