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Area football teams scrimmage as season nears

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As football practice concludes its second full week and the season start looms just a week away, players look forward to hitting someone in a different uniform and trying out newly learned schemes and plays in full-contact scrimmages Friday.

St. Vincent

St. Vincent, under new coach Trent Herzog, will scrimmage at Richmond on Friday starting at 6 p.m.

The Mustangs spent two days getting to know one another last week, capping the first week of mandatory practice with a camp at the school.

Highlights of the camp were a barbecue and swim party at a host home and what Herzog described as an “awesome” motivational talk by former University of California All-American Donnie McCleskey.

Herzog is pleased with the number of players who turned out for St. Vincent football. There were 30 players at the camp, and Herzog expects to have 39 on the roster. He isn’t sure if the Mustangs will have a junior varsity team, but he said freshmen and inexperienced sophomores will have at least a few games during the course of the season.

Casa Grande

Casa Grande will get a chance to see how it stands Friday when it scrimmages at Rancho Cotate. The junior varsities will start the evening at 4:30, with the varsity scrimmage at 7 p.m. The freshmen will go at 1 p.m. on Saturday, also at Rancho Cotate.

Casa Grande coach Denis Brunk said things were going well with the Gauchos.

“Things are starting to jell,” he said. “I am really pleased with where we are. Of course, we have a long way to go, but I’m very pleased with where we are now.”

Brunk was especially impressed with how the offensive players were picking up the “wrinkles” put into the Casa system by new offensive coordinator Keith Simons, the former Santa Rosa Junior College coach. “He (Simons) is going to take our offense to another level,” Brunk said.

Casa Grande currently has a roster of 37 varsity players and 22 JVs. The number Brunk really likes is 40, the number of players out for freshman football. “It is really neat to see the freshman numbers go up,” he said.

Petaluma

Petaluma’s traditional four-way scrimmage will be shortened to a three-way affair this Friday.

Maria Carrillo and Windsor will visit Steve Ellison Field for a full-contact scrimmage with the junior varsities playing at 5 p.m. and the varsities at 7 p.m.

San Marin, an annual participant in the scrimmage, is unable to play this year because the Mustangs lack the mandatory 10 days practice prior to a scrimmage.

According to coach Rick Krist, the Trojans go into the scrimmage coming off two weeks of good season-starting practice.

“Thing went well,” he said. “The varsity is right on schedule.”

The Trojans have a healthy 38 players on the varsity, including a solid crops of seniors.

“We have the best overall leadership we’ve had here in awhile,” Krist noted. “It is not just one or two guys, the whole senior class is providing strong leadership.”

A small sophomore class of around 15 will necessitate some changes as Petaluma coaches will have to augment the varsity with some of the 20-plus freshmen beginning their high school football careers.

Krist said because of the need for freshmen on the JVs, there will be an abbreviated freshman schedule.