Although daytime temperatures ranged from 114 degrees to 118 degrees, fall sports programs began Thursday with football practice on the hill at VVHS. Normally, you think of changing leaves and cool fall days to kick off football season, but not in the desert.
Soccer, Volleyball, co-ed Cross Country and Tennis programs will begin on Monday, August 13. For athletes to compete in sports they must complete their sports packages, including health physicals, prior to practicing on the field.
Freshman to seniors gathered on Thursday to hear new Head football coach Chris Sawyers and his staff explain to his kids what was expected from them during the first week’s two-a-day practices.
Practice began at 7am sharp. Sawyers divided his troops into offensive and defensive groups overseen by assistant coaches. Coach Rob Leete had the offensive line, defensive coordinator Matt Woods had the overall defense with assistance from Brian Fanning, freshman coach Nick Montoya had his group, offensive coach Mark Barnum had his receivers and Sawyers and coaches Stuart Lee and John Noel ran the overall offense.
Each of the coaches held a training schedule which included water breaks every 25 minutes. A trainer was available at all times to treat minor injuries. This was about the kids and their health and conditioning.
A great majority of the kids worked all summer in the weight room. The coaches issued each player a reconditioned helmet as practice began. “Coach Sawyers has brought a new excitement to the program with weight training and meeting personally with athletes and parents during the summer. He helped kids into summer school to improve their grades,” said A.D. Kevin Hess. “He cares about kids, and I want to thank everyone for helping with the football program,” added Hess.
Sawyers will be counting heavily on returnees Dee Bowler, Tyson Teerlink, Tanner Kilmer, Dillon Graves, Cristian Aguiree, T. Walters and newcomers Tristan Ramos from Beaver Dam and Garret Leavitt who returns to VVHS from Idaho.
Aguiree and Leavitt will be leading the Bulldogs from the ‘Pistol’. The ‘Pistol’ is an offense created by Hall of Fame coach Chris Ault of the University of Nevada who has been quite successful the last few years with his devastating offensive scheme. It can be an up-tempo offense that leaves defenses off guard at times.
“I hope to have the lines go one way only, but that will be dictated by the game. We will go up-tempo when needed as the games progresses. I’m a little disappointed at today’s turnout. We have about 65 kids here but I expected about 80. I will work on that beginning tonight. There are some good players who are not here. Although we will have an up-tempo offense our defense will not blitz as much as past years. I’m still sad about the 8-10 kids who are not here but proud of the 35+ who spent all summer with me,” said Sawyers.
A new era of Bulldog football begins August 24 at 7pm in the ‘Dawg House against Clark High School of Las Vegas. After over 21 years, the man known as ‘Haf’ will not be pacing the sidelines. A complete schedule can be found in this publication and online in our new sports subsection titled ‘High School Sports Schedule’.