The 2012 Yosemite High Badger football season kicked-off on a warm, balmy evening Aug. 17 at Badger Stadium. Head coach Kent Lincoln, staff, and many volunteers put together the Blue & White Scrimmage Night. More than 200 parents and Badger faithful were treated to an entertaining night of food and football.
The evening festivities included the scrimmage, a great barbeque and picnic tables to take it all in. It sort of reminded you of a minor league baseball event.
This is part of first-year head coach Kent Lincoln's overall vision for the program: getting YHS football re-connected to a community that has supported the Badgers in the past. "We were pleased with the overall turnout," said Lincoln. "We had a lot of fun on the field while learning a lot. We know this will be a challenging season so it is great to have such a strong start."
Lincoln takes over for 16-year former head coach Aaron Eames, who guided YHS to unprecedented heights in the Central Section D-III ranks. Lincoln was there all along and when he took over the reigns this year, he inherited a solid foundation he helped build.
The team was 4-7 overall last season and 3-2 in the North Sequoia League, good for third place behind Chowchilla and eventual small school state champion Washington Union. The Badgers earned a spot in the section play-offs, losing to Madera South (11-2) in round one 41-0.
This season, fans won't see exactly the same Badger offense or defense as in past seasons and Badger faithful will see more community related events along with other subtle changes in an attempt to take Badger football to future glory.
Lincoln and staff intently watched over JV and varsity action.
"We have a good group of players," Lincoln said. "Most are very athletic, fast and skilled in different positions. What we don't have is a lot of players. Our offense will run out of a spread formation (usually five receivers). This aids our best asset, our passing game."
Lincoln said the team ran a number of good plays during the scrimmage but the team needs to improve.
"We need to get better in all facets of the game," Lincoln said. "That is happening weekly ... Things are progressing."
Lincoln was pleased with the offense in general. Sophomore quarterback Joey Woolsey "threw well on multiple routes and really read the field," Lincoln said. "We do have some playmakers on offense that will give teams trouble. Wide-outs Dillon Moran and Luke Blate had a great scrimmage."
Lincoln said 5-foot-10, 190 pound senior running back/linebacker Josiah Madison will be a playmaker and showed it during the scrimmage.
Of concern will be the offensive line.
"For now, our O-line is not as deep as we would like and they are young," Lincoln said. "They are good athletes but have a long learning curve ahead of them."
After the scrimmage, the crowd was provided a tri-tip barbeque prepared by Yosemite Youth Football coaches and the new Yosemite Badger Football Boosters.
Lincoln addressed the parents on football issues for the upcoming season. Lincoln stressed practice attendance as well as a commitment to "zero-period class" which replaces seventh period football class. The zero-period weight class begins at 6:30 am. three days a week and is open to all athletes. Lincoln told the parents he believes in an open line of communication between parents and himself and encouraged parents to contact him if they had any questions about the football program.
The Badgers travel to Mariposa High to play the Grizzlies in a 6 p.m. scrimmage Friday.
The Grizzlies, a D-V school who play in the Southern Athletic League of the Sac-Joaquin Section, went 6-5 overall last season. The team went 5-2 in league, finishing in third place behind Ripon Christian and undefeated LeGrand.
The Badgers open the season at Calaveras High School on Friday, Aug. 31.
2012 Badger football schedule
Aug. 31, at Calaveras, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 6, at Hanford West, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14, at Roosevelt High, Fresno, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21, Mendota at home, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28, Exeter at home, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5, Liberty-Madera Ranchos at home, 7 p.m. *
Oct. 12, Kerman at home, 7 p.m. *
Oct. 19, at Chowchilla, 7 p.m. *
Oct. 26, at Washington Union (Easton), 7 p.m. *
Nov. 2, Sierra at home (Mountain Bowl Game), 7 p.m.
All JV games two hours prior to varsity game