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Fall Sports Season Kicking Into Gear
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Practices for fall sports at Escalon High formally started Monday, which was also the first day of school for the 2004-2005 school year.

Many of the faces will be the same in coaching positions this year, with one head coaching change in soccer, a new JV coach for that sport and one new assistant in the football program.

Escalon High Athletic Director Mark Loureiro said coaches and players alike were eager to get started.

"The first day of school was the first day of practice and that's different for us," Loureiro noted. "We've been fortunate to have started school later, that allowed us to ease into practice, get the uniform situation sorted out, even get some two-a-day practices before school started."

With the new earlier start date of Aug. 16, however, Escalon starts school and sports at the same time. The start date is a week ahead of last year.

"We're jumping into the fire," said Loureiro. "It's going to be interesting."

Chris Oliveira will lead the boys varsity soccer team, moving up from the JV post he held last season. Longtime coach Jim Sughrue resigned from the varsity position. Coming in to coach the JV boys is Paul Silva, a walk-on coach.

First competition for the varsity squad is scheduled for this Saturday, Aug. 21 with an all day Sierra Tournament in Manteca. Then they will host Oakdale in a Tuesday, Aug. 24 contest at 4 p.m. First league action for the Cougars is at home, Sept. 9 against Livingston.

"Golf will be led by Stan Maggard again, Rick Heflin will be the cross country head coach, we're still getting the assistant position situated," Loureiro said.

The girls golf team starts out with league play hosting Ripon on Thursday, Sept. 9 and cross country runners will see their first action in the Wednesday, Sept. 1 Lodi Lake Invitational at 3:30 p.m. The Trans-Valley League pre-season cross country meet will be at Legion Park in Modesto on Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.

For volleyball, coaches remain the same, with Rusty Fachner heading up the varsity girls program, Irene Laugero coaching at the JV level and Teresa Williamson leading the freshman girls.

The teams have a scrimmage scheduled at Escalon High for Saturday, Aug. 21 and will play their first game hosting West of Tracy on Tuesday, Aug. 24. Freshmen take the court at 4:30 p.m., JV at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity at 6:30 p.m. for their contest. Wednesday, Aug. 25 the teams will travel to Oakdale for another non-league contest. League action for the girls begins with a match at Hilmar on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

On the football field, Loureiro returns as head coach for the Cougars, defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV champions. JV coach Randy Northcutt has a new assistant this year, Dave Lattig stepping in to take the place of retired assistant Ron Northcutt. Head coach for the freshmen remains Roger Beeman, with assistant James Teixeira. The JV and varsity squads kick off the campaign with a trip to San Andreas, taking on Calaveras in the traditional scrimmage on Friday, Sept. 3. First game will be at Escalon on Sept. 10, hosting West Campus with the JV squad kicking off the action at 5:30 p.m.

Freshmen start their season at the Hughson Carnival in Hughson on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 9 a.m.