The Yosemite High School football practices are in full swing. Second year varsity head coach Kent Lincoln is taking advantage of the opportunity to improve basic football skills and build team unity in preparation for the upcoming season. With full contact practices not taking place until later this week, Lincoln is using 'non-contact' practices to work on conditioning, ball-discipline and unity among teammates.
In an addition to summer practices, Lincoln and the Badgers will be attending Camp Pacifica Aug. 16-17 for a two-day retreat for a variety of activities including conditioning and team building drills. The Badgers will spend half of the day at Camp Pacifica contributing to a general clean up of the camp which is owned by the Lions Club International.
Erik Peterson, Badger defensive coordinator, said he is excited about this years turnout and is looking forward to the first game on Sept. 9 against Calaveras High of San Andreas.
"We have lots of new players and the enthusiasm on the field is contagious," Peterson said.
Coaches expect to have anywhere from 25-30 players on both JV and varsity teams which they hope will bring plenty of constructive inter-team competition.
In order to improve their coaching skills during the off-season, Lincoln, along with JV head coach Pat Lynch, attended a coaches camp at Cal Poly where they learned different coaching schemes.The entire coaching staff, including Peterson, Brian Johnson, and youth football junior team head coach Aaron Pelzl, also attended a coaching camp at Fresno State.
As well as fine-tuning their coaching skills, Lincoln and the staff hosted the first ever "Blast for the Badgers" on June 22 at Sun Mountain Gun Club to raise money for the program. The event included a clay shoot and tri-tip dinner. The first year fundraiser brought in $6,800.
"We knew we needed to do something to raise money," Lynch said. The money raised will be used to pay for a new football storage facility and new jerseys for the Junior youth team.
The Badgers will host their annual kick-off dinner and inner-squad scrimmage Friday, Aug. 23 at Badger Stadium. The scrimmage will start at 5 p.m. with dinner following and the evening will include a silent auction, bounce house and a punt, pass & kick competition.
Coaches and players are excited about the prospects of this year's team and hope to host public events throughout the year to build community support for the Badgers.