If it’s time for football, then it must be time for an extended heat wave.
That seems to be the trend, anyway, for Cougar football, as the Escalon High School gridders gathered for their first practice session of the 2017 campaign on Monday, July 31.
Head coach Mark Loureiro said the start of football practice seems to be synonymous with 100-plus degree days and this year was no different, as the thermometer peaked past the century level for Monday’s first practice.
“We’re going two hours,” Loureiro said of the initial sessions. “We have our frosh-soph going from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; varsity is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.”
All other fall sports teams can get their practices underway next week, kicking off Monday, Aug. 7.
Fall sports at Escalon High School include football, volleyball, cross country and golf. This will be the second year that boys soccer, which was previously in the fall, is part of the winter season.
For football, coaches at the varsity level include head coach Loureiro with assistants Brandon Hoover, Brant Rose and Victor Carrillo. JV head coach is Andrew Beam with assistants Joe Cowan, Derek Scott and newcomer Mark Walden.
“At this point, it doesn’t look like we will have a freshman team,” Loureiro said on Tuesday. “We’re hoping in the next week or so to get a few more out but the sign-up numbers were low; we might have just a JV and varsity squad.”
Monday saw a flurry of activity, the coach added, as players got moved in to the newly refurbished locker room at the high school gym, equipment was brought in and preparations made for the fall sports campaign.
Returning to coach varsity volleyball will be Teresa Williamson, with Krystal Rodriguez as JV head coach, Morgan Jensen returning for freshman volleyball.
“We have had a really big turnout for volleyball, they were busy over the summer,” Loureiro noted.
On the cross country course, Rick Heflin will be head coach with assistants Malinda Walker and Michael Bower and, for girls golf, Kristie Cathcart will return as coach.