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JV, youth football shows improvement

After a winless season last year, the junior varsity football team?s future performance in the seasons to come appears bright. This season the team rallied together and improved significantly, finishing with a 4-6 record. New plans for the football program seem to show that this season will be the first of a pattern.

?There is no single reason why the JV football team has done better this year than in the past,? Mick Fuller, JV football coach, said. ?A number of factors converged to create a positive experience for the players.?

Last year, the JV team only had 16 players. Because of the size of the team, they were combined with the varsity team for some of the practices. This season, the team had 31 players, and was separated from the varsity team.

?The structure and organization of the JV team as an auxiliary to varsity negatively impacted instruction and practice of football skills,? Fuller said. ?Separating the two teams allowed the JV team to create its own identity and develop unit cohesiveness.?

The team benefited greatly from this new change.

?The players felt proud to be part of the team,? Fuller said. ?They knew the coaches were investing in them. This knowledge fostered positive attitudes and higher morale.?

The team?s success and dedication this season also earned them respect from coaches from other schools.

While improvements were made this year, the season was not without mistakes.

According to Fuller, there were two key plays contributed to the lost games. In each game, injuries kept players from playing, and during the mid-season, the team suffered from a temporary decline in their intensity and passion.

?Teams go through cycles,? Fuller said. ?We were able to make changes to attitude and continue through the season with new focus.?

Despite hardships during the season, many players improved and played key roles.

?This season I just felt really passionate about the team and our success this year,? sophomore Drew Wiese said. ?My goal is to join the varsity team next year and do well on that level also.?

Apart from Wiese, many other players played a part in the team?s success.

?Sophomores Kyle Hendrix, Daniel Kingen, and Bryan Weskamp all improved their skills and played key roles in the team?s success,? Fuller said. ?However, as football is a team game, every member of the JV squad contributed significantly to the success we enjoyed.?

Current plans for the football program also create anticipation for next season. This year, campus began an elementary and middle school football program.

?The purpose of youth football is not only to prepare the kids to play in high school,? Chris Schultz, youth athletic director, said. ?It also gives younger kids the opportunity to play a sport that wasn?t available to them before.?

The first year of youth football proved to be a success. The junior team, consisting of 5-6 graders finished the season by playing their way to the Central Valley Youth Football Championship. While they lost the championship game against Orosi, this success provided a great amount of anticipation for future seasons.

?I was excited about the championship game,? fifth grade player, Korby Batesole, said. ?We didn?t win many games at the beginning, but we got better. I?m definitely going to continue playing.?

The high school teams will also benefit greatly from the youth program.

The success of both the JV and youth teams during this season provides a vision for further success in the coming years. A youth football summer camp is planned for July, and practices start off the new season during the first week of August.

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    Andrew EvansSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Landon, for crying out loud; you’re never that flexible at conditioning.

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