The local football teams will get a final tuneup this weekend before the season starts, each heading to a scrimmage or a few scrimmages, to be exact.
Los Banos head to Turlock on Saturday to scrimmage against Turlock and Hilmar, while Pacheco drops in on the Orestimba Jamboree, which features Orestimba, Grace Davis and Ripon Christian.
"This Saturday coming up will be a telltale sign," Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. "It'll be nice going against somebody in different-colored jerseys."
Turlock went 4-6 last year, and Caropreso said the Bulldogs are a threat for the playoffs this year, while Hilmar was 6-5 a year ago and is in the same playoff division as Los Banos.
Caropreso said the Tigers would stay in a mostly vanilla gameplan to avoid giving Escalon, LB's Week 0 opponent, a look at his plans on game film.
"Offensively we're going to line up in I-formation and some double tight stuff," Caropreso said. "Nothing too fancy."
Pacheco coach David Snapp said he prefers a multi-team scrimmaging situation, which the Orestimba Jamboree has provided for the last few years.
"You have to adapt on the run. If you go against one team, it's easy to prepare for one opponent, but if you go into something where you have three or four teams, it lets you see how your guys adjust on the fly when they haven't seen something before, because sometimes teams will throw something at you.
"Last year we prepared for Selma for three weeks, and they threw some things at us, and the guys did a good job of adapting on the fly."
The Orestimba event also has the advantage of being a short drive away.
Orestimba was 5-5 a year ago and features one of the best small-school running backs in the area in Steven Machado, Davis went 2-8 but is a Division 1 team, and Ripon Christian went 9-3 and fell in the Division 6 semifinals last year.
Snapp said one of the main goals will be to evaluate linemen after left guard/defensive lineman Wyatt Orozco injured his knee in practice.
"Getting his backups ready in case he can't go next week is a big priority for us right now," Snapp said. "This is more of a look at guys that aren't really experienced."
With a few injuries in fall camp, Snapp has found himself spending more time evaluating his backup players. With Orozco questionable for the opener, he's looking at linemen on both sides of the ball, and with running back Kalama Kamoku out for the season with torn ligaments in his knee, Snapp is looking at his running backs, with 6-foot-2, 227-pound junior Frank Ginda slated to start. A slew of runnings backs are fighting for playing time behind Ginda.
"We're looking to solidify some spots that are up in the air," Ginda said. "We're a little banged up right now, so we're looking for some guys to step up."
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at email@example.com