Members of the Escalon High School football program will be out selling the popular Cougar Cards this week, cards that raise money for the program and provide plenty of savings for card holders.
“We are having our annual Cougar Card Night on Wednesday, August 18,” said varsity head coach Andrew Beam. “The Cougar Cards will be back to the normal hard card, with the football schedule on one side and the discounts on the other.”
The cards cost $20 apiece and discounts for several Escalon and surrounding area businesses are included. Typically, use of the card a couple of times equals the purchase price in discounts, making them a good value for the year.
Players will be selling the cards in neighborhoods around town from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. The cards can also be purchased by calling the high school or bringing cash or a check to the school starting on Thursday, Aug. 19.
Popular local businesses featured on the card range from D’Boni’s Pizza to Hula’s, The Big Dipper to Planet Video, as well as many more in town and in neighboring communities.
“It’s going to be a busy week,” Beam noted. “The first full week of school, back to school night on Wednesday, the Cougar Card sales and football.”
The freshmen will have the opportunity to play the first game of the season on Engel Field, as they will suit up and face off against visiting Merced at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19.
On Friday, Aug. 20, it will be the JV and varsity Cougars taking the field, as they welcome the Linden Lions to town for the season opener. JV game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start and the varsity follows at 7 p.m.
“Everybody that is involved in Friday night is excited and rightfully so,” Beam said of the players, cheerleaders, coaches, fans and families.
The football teams did get to play a scrimmage this past week against Gregori, traveling to the Modesto school on Friday, Aug. 13.
“All three of our levels got in some good scrimmage time,” Beam said.
At the freshmen level, he said coach Joey Costa has about 28 kids out for the team, the best numbers they have seen in the past few years. They also have a 10-game schedule.
Junior varsity, with coach Brant Rose, has more than two dozen on the roster and did well against Gregori, a much larger school. Many of the sophomores this year had just one game at the JV level last year due to the COVID issues so Beam said they are looking forward to having the opportunity to get back on the gridiron.
“We have 39 players for varsity, a big squad, and it includes four sophomores and one freshman along with our juniors and seniors,” said Beam.
While it is a large team, they haven’t had the chance to get much varsity experience, so the early season games will be key to the team’s growth and development.
“I had no idea what to expect,” Beam added of taking on Gregori, adding that he was pleasantly surprised. “Our first and second groups did very well for our first scrimmage; they came out, flew around and competed.”
He said Linden will be a nice team to welcome in for the opener, as it is a past ‘rivalry’ game that both school are looking forward to this week.