The dust had hardly settled after the end of the 2018-19 school year at Riverbank High when football practice started up the next week.
Brand new varsity head coach Anthony Buich started out with a chalk talk on Wednesday, June 5, then the Bruins had their first summer passing workout the next day, Thursday afternoon at Big Valley High School.
They played against Johansen and Beyer high schools as well as Big Valley that day. They made 10 plays on offense, then 10 on defense, each from the 35-yard line.
The second round featured 3-and-out series, with a 10-minute running clock. Play emphasized competition, working on down and distance, attacking the goal line, and quick changes.
The ball was being started at the 30, allowing three plays to cross the 15. If successful, the ball was then played from its new spot, with four plays allowed to achieve a score. If unsuccessful in the first three plays, the ball was reset to the 30 and the team switched to defense.
Linemen worked out separately.
This week, Coach Buich was expecting to have to dodge the predicted 100-plus degree heat with his workouts.
“We will practice this week, in the heat, Monday through Wednesday, but we will go very light and focus on our mental game in order to increase our ‘Football I.Q.’ I have worked out another passing night on Wednesday (June 12) at 5:30 p.m. with Davis High School.”
That meant getting in some walk-throughs early in the week. The new head coach also reminded his players to “always bring proper gear, your notebook, water, and a snack.”
In communicating with his team going into this week, the coach reiterated how proud he was of them and what they accomplished at the passing workouts from the week before.
Anticipating the hot weather, he planned workouts for late in the afternoon, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
He also sent them some diagrams of two offensive and one defensive play to study going into the week.
“Learn them and their rules and you’ll start to see a pattern emerging to our offensive approach. I’ve also attached our base defense, referred to as a Soft Cover 2,” he instructed.
Buich said he was very pleased with the team’s first outing against competition.
“Our defense only gave up two touchdowns during last week’s passing workout, managed three interceptions and caused a lot of problems for the opposition. Essentially, we ‘made a mess,’ which is exactly what I said we would do,” he noted.