View Mobile Site

SUMMER SCHOOL

Weston Ranch adjusting to changes under 2nd-year coach

Text Size: Small Large Medium
SUMMER SCHOOL

Cornerback Clayton Buttram deflects the pass intended for a West receiver in a 7-on-7 passing scrimmage.

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin/


POSTED July 17, 2014 11:26 p.m.


Weston Ranch’s football players weren’t the only ones hard at work this offseason.

Seth Davis himself went to school to further develop his coaching style and philosophies while revamping his staff.

“I attended several clinics such as the one up in Portland put on by Nike,” Davis said. “I took probably 50-60 pages of notes while I was up there. I brought a lot of what I learned back. I’m doing a lot more with coaches and team bonding. I feel like now we’re more on the same page.”

Due to low numbers, Weston Ranch will not field a freshman squad for the 2014 season.

Pawl Johnson, who had much success as a lower-level coach for the Manteca Cowboys youth program, has taken over as the sophomore head coach. Roman Penirian, a former Manteca High teammate of Davis’, is the Cougars’ offensive coordinator. Davis doubles as the defensive coordinator, a position he previously held under former head coach Mike Hale, who returns as an assistant coach. Another key addition to the coaching staff is Jerome Boyd, who coaches the linebackers. He played for Oregon and the Oakland Raiders.

“We have four on-campus coaches and about five guys who live in Weston Ranch, so that’s going to be big for our program,” Davis said.

Another change is the team’s new emphasis on running the football. Operating mostly out of the pistol formation a year ago, the Cougars were a pass-first team that took advantage of their athletic personnel. Quarterback Marcus Moore and his top receiver, Chris Cannady, were among several starters who transferred out, but that wasn’t the reason for Davis’ desire to take a more physical approach moving forward. Playing in the smash-mouth Valley Oak League, which introduces powerhouse Central Catholic to the fold this season, there is a need for bigger and stronger to go with the faster.

“Our workout structure is completely different as it was last year,” Davis said. “We’re definitely working on our speed and agility, but we’re really trying to emphasize strength this year. We want to try and run the football, and that’s what our summer has been geared to. We still like to get our athletes out in space, we just can’t always rely on passing to do that.”

That means less 7-on-7 sessions. A lot less. Davis said his team was part of at least 20 7-on-7 events last summer, be them tournaments or head-to-head contests.

“We focused way too much on that stuff,” he said. “This year, we only did four.”

Davis also sought to build camaraderie among the players with team-building exercises. He took the team to Calaveras Big Trees State Park for hikes in the forest.

“It was a different element for them to be with each other outside of football and school,” Davis said. “It was something that was needed.”

Also needed: Participation in a full-contact camp. Fearing injuries, Davis didn’t enter the Cougars in a team camps last year. Two weeks ago, Weston Ranch joined Dougherty Valley (San Ramon) and Pacheco (Los Banos) in the West camp in Tracy. There, Davis was able to see where his team’s running game was at during inside-run drills and 11-on-11 scrimamges.

“People have noticed that we have lost some of our playmakers, but (at the West camp) were able to see that we legitimately have a team this year,” Davis said. “We’re small just like every other Weston Ranch team has been, but we have a tremendous amount of heart and leadership. The kids really grinded and battled. They’ve bought into the system and the new coaching staff jelled in those three days.”

Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...