Some new faces and some returning coaches greeted Escalon High School student-athletes for the first day of formal fall sports practices on Monday, Aug. 10.
“Everybody started, practices were at 5 p.m. both Monday and Tuesday, we can start after school practices on Wednesday,” said Escalon High Athletic Director Mark Loureiro.
Escalon offers football, volleyball, boys soccer, girls golf and co-ed cross country during the fall season.
The biggest change in football, said Loureiro – also the varsity head coach – is the loss of Max Goldstein for the varsity staff, retiring from that post.
Loureiro is back for another season as head coach, with returning assistants Brandon Hoover, Ray Scott and Matt Loretelli. Newcomer is Brant Rose, coming on board as a varsity assistant as well as joining the teaching staff at the high school.
“Our first action is a scrimmage here on Aug. 22; that will be home against Argonaut with the junior varsity starting at 9 a.m., varsity at 10 a.m.,” Loureiro said of the upcoming Saturday scrimmage.
For its first game, the JV and varsity squad are scheduled to travel to Patterson for a Friday night game, Aug. 28 with the varsity game due at 7:30 p.m., following the JV contest at 5:30 p.m.
Home opener will be Friday, Sept. 4 as the Cougars welcome in Calaveras.
Junior Varsity head coach Andrew Beam is back for another year as well, with assistants Joe Cowan and Derek Scott, while Roger Beeman leads the freshman program with assistants Dan King and Mike Wright on the staff.
Volleyball will see Kayla Kootstra leading the varsity squad again this season, with Krystal Rodriguez making the move up to the JV level from her previous freshman post. Newcomer Kayla Evans will be the new coach for the Lady Cougars at the freshman level. For the volleyball girls, an ‘all teams’ scrimmage is on the schedule for Saturday, Aug. 22 and a varsity team bonding night follows. Enochs will come in for a non-league contest on Friday, Aug. 28 and Escalon’s varsity girls travel to Buhach Colony for a match on Monday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.
For boys soccer, returning varsity coach Paul Silva will welcome new JV head coach Apolonio Rodriguez, a former player at EHS, to the pitch. The boys will open up with non-league action, hosting Waterford in a scrimmage on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 4 p.m.
On the golf course, Kristie Cathcart takes over as the head coach, leading the team following the retirement resignation of longtime coach Rusty Fachner. Their first action on the links is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 25 at Stevinson Ranch for a 3:30 p.m. scrimmage, followed by a home scrimmage hosting Hughson at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27.
Rick Heflin leads the cross country team, with assistant Malinda Walker. They will start with their traditional intersquad meet on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 3:30 p.m. and then travel to the Lodi Flame Invitational at Lodi Lake on Friday, Aug. 28 at 3 p.m.