Full contact tune-up
The unmistakable sounds of pads crunching, coaches barking and whistles chirping signaled yet another fresh start for the North Tahoe and Truckee high school football programs.
This was the scene at Truckee’s Surprise Stadium on Saturday, when the Wolverines hosted their annual preseason scrimmage against North Tahoe and Quincy.
“The scrimmage was just what we needed ” to get pushed around a little bit and try to push back and get a few licks in,” said Lakers head coach Scott Everist. “We haven’t had much contact in practice yet, just the tackling and fundamentals.
“As far as scrimmaging goes, we don’t really have enough to go against each other, so it’s good to get in there and rough it up a little bit. We saw everything we need to work on. We saw some good things along with the bad. But overall I thought it was pretty good.”
Offensive, defensive and special teams units from the three teams took turns squaring off against each other, running plays as coaches lurked nearby to offer words of encouragement and criticism.
Watching his North Tahoe offense execute an assortment of deceptive running plays against Quincy, Everist voiced displeasure about a couple fumbled exchanges.
“If it happens again, we’re doing up-downs during the scrimmage,” the coach threatened. The next handoff, from quarterback Mitchell Conn to halfback Leroy Valadez, was clean as the Lakers proceeded to break off several plays for chunks of yardage.
Meanwhile on the other end of the field, Truckee’s offense slipped on blue practice jerseys and lined up against its own defense, which held its own for the most part. And so it went as groups rotated on and off the field.
The Wolverines’ defense, led by senior linebacker Ryan Macken, looked as sharp as any unit, stuffing the Quincy rush on several consecutive plays on one particular goal-line stand and holding the Lakers in place on another series.
Truckee moved the ball well against Quincy and North Tahoe with its speedy ground attack, which looked to be more effective than its passing game.
As Truckee head coach Bob Shaffer noted this past week, senior Justin Vosburgh ” the Wolverines’ new quarterback after playing halfback a year ago ” is still learning the nuances of the position.
North Tahoe hosts Biggs (Calif.) on Saturday at 1 p.m. to kick off its season. Truckee starts its season with a home game against Bishop (Calif.) on Sept. 6 at 1:30 p.m.
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.