Music early Saturday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium drowned out a lot of noise down on the football field, from collisions to coaches’ orders.
And that was the plan for Pacheco High’s black-and-white intra-squad scrimmage.
“We got out of it what we were looking for. The music was kind of loud and put us in a pressure situation,” Pacheco coach David Snapp said. “We’ve got 44 guys, and depth is a little bit of an issue, so we were trying to rotate guys in, and giving guys looks is one of the challenging parts of practice. But we feel we have the right 44 guys.”
But even with the oppressive heat and the distracting music, the Panthers went through their reps with enthusiasm (and maybe one or two too many water breaks for Snapp’s liking).
“It was hot out. You could tell everyone was kind of feeling it, but you want to be in situations like that to prepare ourselves,” Snapp said. “We want to be uncomfortable to see how we’re going to respond in those situations.”
Neither the offense or the defense really dominated, though the offense was able to move the ball at times. With two-way starters creating holes on each side, it gave the coaches the opportunity to look at other players.
“We have a lot of guys that can make a lot of plays,” Snapp said. “Our guys are real athletic and are just good football players. I can’t wait to unleash them.”
The Panthers are on the road Saturday to scrimmage against former Los Banos High coach Dennis Stubbs and his Golden Valley Cougars. Snapp said he wasn’t looking for anything in particular in that scrimmage.
“It gives us an opportunity to go against someone other than ourselves, and our guys are ready for that,” he said. “They like to face a different opponent. Practice at times can get a little sluggish, going against the same guys all the time, and they’re chomping at the bit to take on someone with a different-colored jersey.”
Pacheco opens the season on the road against Bear River in Grass Valley on Aug. 29. Pacheco is coming off of its first winning season after going 7-4 with a first-round playoff loss.
The Panthers return the school’s first 1,000-yard rusher in Frank Ginda, who will slide to a different position to make room for the return of Kalama Kamoku, who was slated to start at running back last year before an injury. Librado Velasquez will share running back duties with Kamoku. Quarterback Juwan Epperson is also back.