Saturday, August 27, 2011

A One Year Anniversary and the Rio Mesa Intersquad Scrimmage


One year ago today, at 7:05 a.m., I took my first step on what would become a 33 day, 500 mile pilgrimage walk -- the Camino de Santiago. This odyssey started in the French town of St. Jean-Pied-de-Port and on this glorious Summer day it took me over the Pyrenees Mountains. After a mere 8 hours and 55 minutes I had traversed one of Europe's great mountain ranges, a distance of 15.4 miles/24.8 km that include an elevation climb of 4,215 feet/1,285 meters. At 4:00 p.m. I finally arrived at my first stage destination, the Spanish town of Roncesvalles, population 30.

Looking back at France as we climbed
the Pyrenees Mountains

It was near here that I first met Trine Beck from Denmark who would prove to be a fabulous pilgrim, friend and source of strength.

The Camino de Santiago
on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees

My first albergue
Roncesvalles' Refugio Izandegia

Easily the greatest adventure of my life, the very positive lessons that I learned on the Camino have re-visited me on a daily basis since returning to California.

I am really looking forward to seeing the movie, "The Way," that debuts in America next month starring Emilio Estevez and his father Martin Sheen about one man's Camino experience.


Trying to pump up our Defensive Linemen

Behind me is Kate "Lois" Pussehl is our sign language interpretor.

Devin "Che" Williams, #95 next to Kate, is a Sophomore, our starting Nose Guard and hearing impaired. Kate is a great asset in helping Che get ready for the start of what I think is going to be a truly remarkable high school career.

The scrimmage started with our Varsity backups
in white going against the J.V.'s in black

QB Kado Brown rolling out

#64 Jacob Atwater
A Legend on the RMHS Practice Field

Andrew Espinosa breaking away for a TD!

Nice Shoes

James Turner and Kado Brown

WAY too much TV.

Well Fed Linemen

Jordan Nunnery clearing the way
for Darion Zimmerman

QB Christian McNair in action

Tanner Wrout rampaging up the middle

QB Trent Thornton with
DE Nick Holt in hot pursuit

The Trenches

Jordan Nunnery in the open field


Very scary.

Kado Brown on the loose!

Pulling Guard Marcos Vega #60

Surprisingly quick for a big man!

Tanner Wrout

Punter/TE Ben Quantock

Tim Dominguez

Better known as our kicker last year, Tim is pushing Ben for the #1 spot at punter.


A solid scrimmage marked the end of two-a-days. RMHS has their teacher preparation day on Monday and the first day of school on Tuesday so we now only practice once a day for about 2 1/2 hours from Mondays-Thursdays.

Most, not all, of our Varsity Coaching Staff

Next up is another scrimmage on Friday, this time in Simi Valley against the Royal Highlanders.

Our first game is at home in two weeks against the San Marcos Royals.

Football season is finally here!!!


Final 2011 Division I Södra (South) Standings
The top two teams at the end of the regular season will play in the 2011 SAFF Division I Playoffs along with the top two teams from each of the other three Division I Conferences.

Kristianstad Predators (8-2)
Limhamn Griffins (8-2)
Ystad Rockets (8-2)
Lugi Vikings (4-6)
Ekeby Greys (1-9)
Hässleholm Hurricanes (1-9)

Week 14 Results
Lugi 8 - Hässleholm 0
Limhamn 40 - Kristianstad 33
BYES: Ekeby and Ystad

SAAF Division I Södra Notes: Our beloved Hurricanes lost another close one today. I know that the players and coaches are disappointed after brimming with high hopes at the start of the season. Now it is time to reflect, re-energize and start preparing to make positive strides in 2012.

As the 2011 regular season came to a close today three teams, Kristianstad, Limhamn and Ystad, tied for the Division I Södra title with identical 8-2 records. Having each split the two game series with each other the tie-breaker came into play since only two teams get to go to the playoffs. The tie-breaker was a bit more convoluted than earlier reported but let us just summarize.

Coach Ryan Bolland's Kristianstad Predators got the nod as the #1 seed from the South while the Limhamn Griffins will be the #2 seed. Unfortunately for the Ystad Rockets and their excellent defense, the season is over.

The first round of the single elimination playoffs will see Kristianstad (8-2) at home against the #2 seed from Division I Västra (West), the Karlskoga Wolves (6-2). Limhamn will travel to play Division I Västra's #1 seeded Göteborg Marvels (8-0).

Because the SAFF website has changed their format and is now not as informative as the old site, I can not give you the complete playoff picture at this time.


Monday, August 22, 2011

The New Orleans Saints Invade Oxnard, CA

In the city of Oxnard you will find the River Ridge Golf Course Complex which includes a Residence Inn and two pristine natural grass football fields. Over the last dozen years or so, this complex has been the Summer practice home for first the Oakland Raiders and then the Dallas Cowboys.

This week the New Orleans Saints have opted to use River Ridge for their five practices leading up to next Sunday's preseason game in Oakland after having played at Houston last Saturday night.

At nearby Rio Mesa H.S., the Spartans were working through our first day of two-a-days in pads with the typical ups and downs. Our afternoon practice ended at about 4:50 p.m. Since the Saints practice started at 4:30 p.m., I decided to hustle over to River Ridge, only a five mile drive, and watch a bit of an NFL practice.

Parking cost $10 but admission to the practice was free!

I found the Saints practice to be well organized with no wasted efforts and seemless transitions from drill to drill. Let's go through their last 90 minutes of practice once I arrived.


Calling out the Protection Scheme

Gunner releasing off the LOS


Two Covering against One Returner

Breakdown and Contain

This was a GREAT drill, you will see it soon at RMHS.

7-on-7 DRILL

Back-up QB Chase Daniels in action

Drew Brees, one of the NFL's BEST!

Pass Defense

Brees slinging it again


This might be holding

This one too

This one looks legal

Check out the guns on #63

He's Dexter Lattimore, a rookie out of THE Ohio State University.


Darren Sproles with the rock

Sproles with the stiff arm

Sproles turns the corner

This was all part of the same long distance TD run by the former San Diego Charger.


Pressure Off the Edge

Kicker Garrett Hartley


Get Position FIRST!

#93 Junior Galette

Gallette makes a block


Knock It Down!

#23 Pierre Thomas driving for paydirt!

#28 Mark Ingram running wild!

Ingram was the Saints #1 Draft Pick this year out of Alabama. He was also the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and looked very good today.

TD by #13 WR Joseph Morgan


Brees to . . .

. . . Sproles

Hartley finishes the drive with a three



Practice ended with some spirited Gassers. As you can see, the Saints ran a great practice with lots of variety and a great stress on the kicking game.

It was a fun 90 minutes watching them go through their paces!