With the start of the high school football season just eight days away, area teams will hold their final dress rehearsals on Saturday.
Scrimmages will take place all around the county as teams get an opportunity to hit somebody else for the first time.
Two scrimmages will be held at Veterans Stadium. Merced will host Clovis East at 10 a.m. and Golden Valley will host Pacheco at 7 p.m.
“As long as I’ve been doing this we hope to go into this scrimmage and have fun, play at a high level and not get hurt,” Merced head coach Rob Scheidt said. “Probably not in that order. Our guys have been working hard. It’s nice to go against another opponent.”
The Bears will play their scrimmage with a couple key players on the sideline. Linebacker Jermon Cook (ankle) and Justin Solis (knee) will both sit out.
“We’re a little banged up, so staying healthy would be a good thing,” said Scheidt, whose Bears open up next week on the road against Clovis West.
The Bears return plenty of weapons on offense including quarterback Tyrone Williams, receivers A.J. Stewart and Nick Camper, and running back Jabar Byrd.
Golden Valley head coach Dennis Stubbs is interested in seeing how his players compete against a talented Pacheco team.
The Cougars are young with no returning starters on the offensive line and sophomores at quarterback in Armando Mucquiz and running back in Isaiah Montenez.
“Pacheco is going to bring it to us,” Stubbs said. “Their backfield has two three-year starters. They’ll be a good test for us. It’ll tell us what we really need to work on. It’ll be a lot of fun, too, because coach (David) Snapp was my running backs coach at Los Banos.”
Buhach Colony will scrimmage against two-time defending state champions Central Catholic at 10 a.m. in Modesto.
The Thunder scrimmage the Raiders for a reason.
“Our non-league schedule has always been somewhat tough and our relationship with Central Catholic has helped us prepare for that,” said Buhach Colony head coach Kevin Navarra, whose team’s schedule includes games against Clovis North and St. Mary’s. “We know what we’re going to get from Central.”
Atwater will travel to Manteca to scrimmage the Buffaloes, Ripon and Grace Davis. El Capitan prepares for its first game with a scrimmage at Le Grand with the Bulldogs, Dos Palos and Stone Ridge Christian.
Another scrimmage will take place in Los Banos with the Tigers, Turlock and Hilmar.