It’s just a scrimmage, but it will serve a two-fold purpose.
First, it will give the Cougar football players a chance to face off against someone other than themselves and, second, it will give coaches a look at their players in real-time game situations.
“We’ll be at home against Argonaut, the JV team will start at 10 a.m. and the varsity will take the field at 11 a.m.,” said first year varsity head coach Andrew Beam. “Our freshmen will blend in with the JV for this scrimmage; Argonaut does not have a freshman team this year.”
Escalon is expected to have a freshman squad, with about 18 on the roster as of the start of the week, and Beam looking for the team to pick up more players during this first week of school. Joey Costa will serve as head coach.
For the Saturday, Aug. 11 scrimmage, the teams will utilize just half the field and will see action both on offense and defense.
“I think we’re at the point where we’re tired of hitting ourselves,” Beam said, with the team already having two weeks of practice under their belts.
The chance to see another team lining up across from them will be a welcome change, added the coach.
He’s also eager to see how their “modernization” of the Wing-T offense will work out.
“We’ve changed some things up but we will still run the football,” Beam said.
He pointed to a good challenge in Argonaut, with the Mustangs returning several key skill players.
“They expect this to be one of their better teams in recent years,” he explained, adding that seeing some tough competition will only make the Cougars better as well.
Practices the past couple of weeks have been tough, trying to work around the triple digit heat, sometimes running them at 7 a.m. and other times at 6 p.m. The Cougars also had their traditional end of the summer ‘midnight lift’ event recently, where they gather for team bonding one night from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., watching some films, lifting and building team camaraderie ahead of the new season.
“We had a really good turn out,” Beam said. “It was a good night.”
The coach added that this week, the players are in a normal “game week” mode, getting ready for the Saturday morning scrimmage as though it was a traditional contest.
After getting a taste of competition at the Aug. 11 scrimmage, the Cougars will prepare for the formal pre-season opener on the road, traveling to Union Mine on Friday, Aug. 17 for JV and varsity games. They will face off against the host Diamondbacks with the JV game at 5:15 p.m.; varsity at 7:30 p.m.