STOCKTON — Some programs attack the summer months to fine tune offensive schemes and readjust according to player personnel.
Some teams mature at a slower pace, making basics like formations, cadence and responsibilities the primary focus at summer’s close.
The ladder is where the Weston Ranch Cougars find themselves during this year’s Stagg Delta King full-contact football camp this week. The Cougars have mixed it up with Stagg, Ripon Christian, Edison and Sierra, giving themselves a solid glimpse at what to expect from themselves to open the season.
“Right now, we are just trying to develop two sides of the ball,” Weston Ranch head coach Mike Hale said. “We are trying to get players in a position to go one way and just try and increase our reps at each position.
“We are taking on a philosophy of the more reps we get for each individual the better off we are going to be.”
The reps have been physical to say the least during the week-long camp. Teams lock up for offensive and defensive sets, alternating each side of the ball in 10-play intervals.
Big hits and long runs bring about the most crowd reaction, but getting each player out of camp in one piece is the true goal for each coach.
“The main thing is when we come out of here we want to come away healthy,” Hale said. “This is a great camp to get those looks at some guys that are coming in as juniors and even some first-year seniors.
“So we want to make sure that we can formulate some kind of meshing before we open the season.”
Weston Ranch always seems to find itself in an uphill battle when it comes to the Valley Oak League standings. The Cougars know the teams that will show themselves atop the league standings, yet hope a transition in philosophy will assist the Cougars breaking into the top-tier of the league standings.
Weston Ranch, which has always been plagued by low team numbers, participated in camp this week with the most bodies the program has seen in an offseason during Hale’s tenure. With new pieces solidified and in place, the Cougars’ focus was on pushing the ball directly into the middle of defenses.
“I am looking at a team that is going to be more physical than the teams here in the past,” Hale said. “We should be able to put together a more consistent running game with senior Tremain Bunton, who has come into camp running hard.
“We also have a few juniors that are going to step in and give us some depth at the running back spot.”
Hale believes the VOL is a running league where teams demand you to be tough.
Coming into the summer his coaching staff realized the full-contact camp would “be vital in seeing where the team is at” in terms of the teams physical ness heading into the season.