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Ripon squad hopes to build off 2010 success
After breaking two tackles, Ripon Chiefs junior novice player Steven Haines charges upfield during practice at Lan Park Wednesday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

RIPON — The Ripon Chiefs put together an impressive season on all four levels a season ago, and they have no reason to expect anything less when they kick off the 2011 season next week in Tracy against the Panthers.

The Chiefs’ varsity team ran the table last year, winning the Super Bowl championship with a 20-14 over a Modesto Rams. The team has been on the field in pads for nearly three weeks and look to be set to defend their Trans Valley Youth Football League title.

The varsity, junior varsity, novice and junior novice teams all are in mid-season form, working on various forms of one offensive scheme at each of the four levels.

“I think we are satisfied with the numbers we’ve gotten from all our teams this year,” Chiefs media director Brinton McCusker said. “We are evenly matched on all four teams, and we definitely have enough bodies at each team.”

The organization will actually kick off  the season at the Munchies games in Winton Saturday. The Chiefs will knock helmets with the Manteca Jr. Buffaloes, Keyes Bees, Westside Niners and the Tri-City Bulldogs.

The scrimmage style munchies games will be the first full-contact action for all of the teams, giving each squad their first look at what their teams really have to offer. The Chiefs have proven they know what it takes to finish as the league’s top-team, giving their squad’s formula instant credibility.

“We’ve got a lot of the same faces with a lot of good transition with coaches moving up,” McCusker said. “I think Mark Duxbury (varisty head coach/president) is really into technique first. Right now, there’s not a whole lot of hitting, just a lot of technique and fundamentals.

“I think that takes us a long way; it took the varisty to the Super Bowl championship last year.”