The first taste of action against someone other than their teammates was on the schedule recently for Escalon volleyball and football players.
Suiting up for the GEBO, Golden Valley, Escalon, Beyer and Oakdale, round robin scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 17, all three levels of Lady Cougar volleyball hit the court at Beyer High School.
“We do not keep scores,” said varsity head coach Teresa Williamson of the scrimmage format, with Escalon facing off against each of the other three teams. “We played very solid volleyball Saturday. It was a great start to the season.”
Each match is timed, so the freshmen, JV and varsity girls all had the chance to get in a couple of hours of work, facing off with solid opponents at each level.
“I have eight returning players with seven of them being seniors,” added Williamson. “We have work to do, however, I feel we are going to be pretty solid all the way around. Hannah Boyd will lead my offense with her experienced setting. She really mixed her sets up Saturday. Tess Cosby will lead the defense in the back row as my libero.”
Alongside Cosby will be Koren Rodriguez, Katie Karp, Natalie Cortes and Lizbeth Cortes. Melanie Smith and Mandy Murphy will lead the front row with their blocking.
“Mandy Murphy, Melanie Smith, Mya Beary, Emily Vickers, Sage Davis, and Mya Scott will lead this team offensively,” Williamson said. “Last but not least, I have a Gregori transfer, Elise Gonzales, who will help out in league; unfortunately, she has to sit out until September 24.”
The varsity volleyball girls had a bit of a cheering section for their Saturday matches, as many of the varsity football players came out to watch the action.
That, after the JV and varsity gridders traveled to Argonaut for a scrimmage on Friday evening, Aug. 16.
“I was really pleased with both groups, our first and second offense and our first and second defense,” said varsity football head coach Andrew Beam. “I was happy with where both of them were. Our guys returning played like varsity football players and our third year varsity guys, Damien Tom, Jacob Walden and Kaden Christensen, were just a step above.”
Beam added that everyone suited up for the varsity Cougars had a chance to play, as the offenses and defenses rotated in for a set amount of plays, both Escalon and Argonaut having the chance to work on their offensive and defensive plays.
“A scrimmage is perfect for trying to see what we’ve got,” Beam added. “Our quarterback, Ty Harris, made some smart decisions, young guys like Chase Pacheco did well.”
Overall, said Beam, he came away from the scrimmage with a good feeling about the team and some of the work he saw being done on the gridiron.
“I was also beyond happy with what I saw from the JV team and we were able to watch our freshmen on Thursday at Downey,” Beam added. “We have five freshmen on the JV team so that leaves 18 to 20 on the freshman roster and coaches Joey Costa and Derek Scott have done a good job with them.”
Escalon football opens the season at home on Friday night, Aug. 23, welcoming Union Mine with the JV game starting at 5 p.m. and varsity about 7 p.m.