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LANCERS LOOK UPWARD

EU hoping to build on positive summer

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LANCERS LOOK UPWARD

East Union wide receiver Eddie Daube puts a move on a Sierra defender after hauling in a pass during a 7-on-7 passing league tournament loss on July 13 at Modesto JC.

JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHs/The Bulletin


POSTED July 28, 2013 10:10 p.m.



East Union has nowhere to go but forward this season.

After back-to-back 1-9 finishes, the Lancers, under third-year head coach Willie Herrera, are staying completely positive in their approach to 2013-14.

“Going into every year we’re very optimistic,” Herrera said. “I don’t expect us to go 1-9 again. I expect us to do well this year. Honestly, our only focus right now is Week 0 (on Aug. 30). That game is against Davis High in Modesto, and that’s the only game we’re thinking about right now.”

East Union took St. Mary’s Stockton off its preseason schedule and replaced it with Davis. The Lancers’ summer workout regimen been very successful while preparing for their opener, and that’s been apparent with their efforts during summer competition.

On July 13, the Lancers competed at Modesto JC’s 7-on-7 passing league tournament, which featured several football programs from the area such as Patterson, Central Valley, Ceres, Pacheco and Franklin Stockton.

EU also competed in a full-contact, four-day camp in Lake Tahoe, which featured a couple of programs from Nevada, along with locals Tokay and Capital Christian.

The Lancers ended up seeded second on the last day of the camp and went head-to-head with Capital Christian, who EU dealt an 8-6 loss.

“It was a nice physical game,” Herrera said. “(Capital Christian) has some pretty good athletes, but our guys have been working really, really hard.

“And as far as adversity goes, that camp showed us a lot. It was raining three of the four days, and I bet a lot of the kids never want to go camping again.”

Aside from the Tahoe trip and its only 7-on-7 passing league tourney of the summer at Pirate Stadium, EU has kept its summer strength and conditioning routine behind closed doors. East Union has been lacking experience in recent history, but considering all the hard work they’ve been putting in on the practice field and in the weight room, the Lancers have every right to feel hopeful about a potential turnaround.

“The summer has been awesome,” Herrera added. “Our boys have worked extremely hard. We’ve had 6 a.m. workouts every morning. And with it being my (fourth) year, we’re starting to get this thing rolling. The players are buying in and getting after it. It has been a very productive summer.”

EU will be returning a few key players who should start on both sides of the ball, including Eddie Daube (WR/DB) and Andrew Ortiz (WR/RB). Daube made 17 receptions last year for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

“I expect a good turnout,” Daube said. “Our team has been working over the summer. We have a new offense and everything is working out. We have a good (junior varsity) team coming up. We should do pretty good this year and turn it around.”

Lucas Garcia, who split time at the quarterback position this year, will be another key returner. However, incoming junior Isaiah Gordon, the younger brother of former Lancer standout and current MJC quarterback Teejay, is expected to take over the reins under center.

The last time EU made it to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs was 2010-11 when then-senior Teejay was piloting the offense, during coach Mike James’ last season at the helm. Since their 58-7 loss against Del Oro in the opening round of the playoffs, the Lancers have only won two games in two seasons.



To contact John-Joel Griffiths, e-mail jgriffiths@mantecabulletin.com.

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