Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rio Mesa Linemen Challenge and Passing Tournament

Rio Mesa's Annual Lineman Challenge and Passing Tournament were both held yesterday on yet another glorious day in El Rio, California.

In the Linemen Challenge, Buena, Hueneme, Rio Mesa, Royal, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Valencia and Westlake each entered two teams while Channel Islands, Granada Hills, Newbury Park and Oak Park competed with just one team. Thus, a total of 20 five-man teams were set to compete in the quirky but very manly Linemen Challenge.

At the same time Buena, Channel Islands, Hueneme, Malibu, Newbury Park, Oak Park, Rio Mesa, Royal, Santa Maria, Santa Paula, Simi Valley and Westlake were airing it out in the Passing Tournament with each school playing five 45 minute long 7-on-7 games.

It was a full day to say the least, let's slap on some sun block and see how things unfolded. . .


Heavy Bag Relay

The blocking bag weighs 99 lbs. Each member of the team must run around a cone ten yards from the start/finish line and then quickly hand off the bag to his next teammate.

Here Royal H.S. is seen on the clock. Their "A" team finished fourth on the day while their "B" team was 17th.

Bench Press

Maximum reps at 185 lbs., simple enough.

This is Simi Valley on the bench, their "A' team was the Linemen Challenge Champion on this day while the Pioneer's "B" squad placed 18th.

Power Clean

It was 185 lbs. on the bar again, rep it out Royal!

Tractor Tire Flip

Each player must flip the tire a distance of ten yards for time, about five good flips and hopefully not six.

In a word, GRUELLING!!!

"Braveheart" Rock Toss

See the movie again.

Rio Mesa's Ricky Mora is seen here exploding the 20 lbs. river rock. The home standing Spartans' "A" team took sixth place while the "B" team ended up 15th.

Football Relay

I'm not sure which team this is but the rules are simple enough. A football is used as a baton in this relay race with each lineman being required to run across the width of the football field once before handing off the pigskin.

Now that is a distance of 53 1/3 yards that each "Hog" had to sprint although for a few it looked more like they were running in the final stages of a marathon.

Obstacle Course

This required each athlete to run over, under and around objects. In the case of that pesky five-man sled in the background, they even had to hit each pad.

The Westlake player seen here is seen at the finish of the course leaping over a high jump cross bar set at six feet-six inches before pouncing on the ball.

Westlake entered two very strong teams with their "B" team actually outperforming their "A" contingent in the final standings, the Warrior "B" team third place and the "A" team seventh place.

I might be a little off in the height of that cross bar.


The final event of the Challenge, single elimination, all Passing Tournament games come to a halt and 1,000+ athletes, coaches and spectators gather in one small area to cheer for their favorite team.

Or against their least favorite teams.

Crazy Love

Here several players from different schools celebrate Rio Mesa's win in this particular tug against just such a school.

1. Simi Valley "A"
2. Valencia "A"
3. Westlake "B"
4. Royal "A"
5. Buena "A"
6. Rio Mesa "A"
7. Westlake "A"
8. Valencia "B"
9. Newbury Park
10. Channel Islands


Here I am seen carrying my new baton, symbolic of my recent promotion to Field Marshal.

Or maybe it is the monopod that Laurie gave me on my recent LXIVth birthday for my Nikon D3000 camera.

Passing Tournament

Unlike the Linemen Challenge, no Tournament Champion would be declared here. Each school was guaranteed five 45 minute 7-on-7 games period. Let's take a look at Rio Mesa's games.

Oak Park Game

Riley Fagan about to score a TD

Trent Thornton at QB

Trent is a Senior embroiled in a very competitive three way fight for our starting QB job in the Fall.

Today, competition is a word that can scare off many a parent and a few athletes as well. As a coach, it is the best way to insure maximum improvement in any position on your squad.

Increased competition equals decreased complacency!

On Saturday, each QB rotated with a competitive twist that I really liked. Lead your team to a TD, you stay in next series. Fail to score, for any reason, and the next QB rotates in for the next series and as long as he can produce scores.

Competition is GOOD STUFF!!!

I thought that all three QBs played well today.

This game ended in a tie.

Hueneme Game

Jordan Nunnery on the catch

What if we could clone him into five more players?

Fighting for the ball

James Turner in coverage

If we can get him playing in a frenzied mode in the Fall, watch out!!!

OLB Matt Espinoza in tracking a Viking

"Just a bit outside"

Spartan DB Gabe Duongtran is in pursuit.

Did I mention that it was
a GREAT day to be a Spartan?

OLB Andrew Espinosa focused

Meet you at the corner

Not good Viking routes but they did score a TD on this play.

We won this contest.

Santa Paula Game

Tanner Wrout in excellent
man-to-man coverage

Did Jordan catch it?


We won this game as well.

Santa Maria Game

Junior QB Kado Brown, a.k.a, "D.A. III"

He played lights out as well yesterday, easily his most impressive day of the Summer.

TE Ben Quantock

TE Mitch Haerterich for Six

Hey, that's three in a row for good old RMHS!

Malibu Game

Senior QB Christian McNair . . .

A real sense of urgency for him yesterday, he too responded well.

. . . hitting Jordan Nunnery for a TD

This was our final game of the day and it was another Spartan victory, 4-0-1 was a solid day for us.

Royal 5-0
Simi Valley 5-0
Rio Mesa 4-0-1
Oak Park 3-1-1
Westlake 3-2

A great part of yesterday for me was seeing so many of our coaching friends all at one sight.

RMHS Classmates
Class of 1994

Assistant coaches Mike Conteras of Newbury Park and Justin Schmidt of Santa Paula were both at their best.

Parsons Workers

On the left is Paul Sabolic who I went to school with at the University of Washington back in the late 1960's. Paul moonlights as the line coach at Granada Hills H.S.

With him is our son Andy Contreras who will become a father for the first time in August.

Andy and his bride, Jenn, were in town for a baby shower put on by my wife Laurie at Casa Contreras while these two tournaments were going on. There will be much more about this in our next post.

Brothers Andy and Mike Contreras

Talk about two happy campers!

What a simply marvelous day!!!

But still . . .

Be afraid children,
be VERY afraid indeed!

1 comment:

Johan said...

What a blessing with three guys battling it out for starting QB. Apart from Philip Barbour Colts back in redneck country West Virginia I will cheer for the Rio Mesa Spartans in HS-football.