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EU, Sierra put to test at summer camp
Sierra High’s Nick Baker runs down the Bear Creek ball carrier. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
STOCKTON – One program is trying to defend a piece of a league title for the first time in school history.

The other is looking to redefine its program’s recent lack of success by focusing on the present opportunities.

The common denominator for both Sierra and East Union high’s football teams is the work that they need accomplished takes place under the beaming sun when most students are knee-deep into summer vacations.

Sierra and East Union joined Lincoln, Bear Creek and host Stagg in the Delta Kings’ full-contact football camp from Monday to Thursday. The teams worked on pregame regiments before breaking into 11-on-11. Sierra is coming off an 11-2 campaign, sharing the Valley Oak League title with the Oakdale Mustangs. The Timberwolves will see their title defense challenged quickly with Oakdale coming to town for the VOL opener. With a Week 0 game in place, the 2010 preseason has clearly already begun.

“This is how we prepare,” Sierra head coach. “This is our time to see and assess what our players can do. It’s been a great week for us at camp.

“We’ve learned about our players and they’ve learned a lot about us.”

The dead period for the fall sports was moved back from its original date of July 19 to the 25, extending the time for Sac-Joaquin Section schools to get in team-oriented off-season work. Teams can begin practicing again on Aug. 9, with scrimmages season kicking off Aug. 21.

East Union comes in off of a 4-6 season, where they were 2-5 in VOL play. The Lancers are poised to take steps in the right direction, and should see a window for success widen with a pair of young varsity teams (Lathrop and Kimball) making their VOL debuts.

“Right now, we know that before we can do too much physically we have to have it squared on mentally,” Lancer head coach Mike James said. “It was very limited in what we put in play wise, and right now you’re just looking at reaction and playing skills.

“We have to compete, and so right now, we’re just looking at how well they compete.”

Both teams were able to get in a lot of live action, varying offense verse defense looks with each of the five schools. Each team will look to close out camp injury free when they head to the newly renovated Stagg High field for the final time today at 4 p.m..