The varsity Warriors are gearing up and working efficiently as the summer football drills are under way at Orestimba High.
Head Coach Aaron Souza and his group of assistant coaches have decided to take a different approach to the summer program this season compared previous years. Since the start of the 2018-19 school year Orestimba has offered varsity football as an elective class - allowing the Warriors to get work in during the regular school year that otherwise would have been packed into the summer months.
“We have been in full preparation mode since early January, which to an extent has changed our approach in summer,” said Souza.
Virtually every playoff opponent Orestimba has faced in recent years has come from a school offering football as an elective or an equivalent course such as athletic physical education.
The players’ strength levels and knowledge of the game at the varsity level are well advanced from where they typically would be early in the summer, noted Souza.
“We are ahead of the game,” he stated.
The Warriors are essentially pushing football to become a true year-around program, so when it comes to the summer the focus can be on fine-tuning.
In comparison to past years, when the Warriors would practice up to four times a week, Souza wanted to take into account that after a while such a rigorous schedule becomes routine and monotonous.
Orestimba varsity players had the first week of summer off because of this class before moving into the more limited schedule for the remainder of the season.
“Our effort and desire to be there are much higher,”Souza told Mattos Newspapers. “ I want my guys to be hungry and excited when July 29 (the start of official practice) comes.”
The coaching staff is hoping to get everyone up to varsity speed. First-year varsity players in particular need to understand the preparation required at that level, Souza commented.
While they are evaluating talent throughout the football class and summer drills, Souza said, the true test comes when the pads go on and the hitting begins.
“You can do so many things in shorts and shirts, but games are won and lost with pads on,” said Souza “You can never get a true evaluation until they have to hit, tackle, and run at the same time.”
The whole premise for the Warriors during the summer drills is working on their fundamentals along with fine-tuning both the offensive and defensive schemes.
“A lot of it is just fine-tuning because we have been in preparation mode for several months,” Souza commented. “We don’t have to jam-pack the summer schedule to make up for lost time.”