Posted by: Press Democrat Staff Writer Rich Rupprecht
Rancho Cotate football has already visited the Reno football camp and spent a day at the Tomales camp. In a couple weeks, the Cougars will take part in a one-day scrimmage camp at Marin Catholic.
Veteran coach Ed Conroy is a firm believer in camps. They offer the chance of spotting emerging talent, perhaps from a senior who has gotten bigger and stronger or just learned more about the game. “As long as they’re unhurt every rep is a good thing,” he said.
The Cougars have taken part in weight training and conditioning since the start of the year and it intensifies with the closeness of the season.
Conroy has been an advocate of the CIF establishing rules and guidelines for summer football, as the last couple of years the CIF has told the various sections it will not regulate or monitor football in the summer.
“I’m kind of torn,” said Conroy, “but it should be an even playing field.”
Conroy said that a few years back teams were restricted what they could do before the official date when CIF begins regulating fall sports (Aug. 17 this year). “You couldn’t even have any kind of structured conditioning.”
Conroy said that Rancho doesn’t have it as bad as some schools, because school doesn’t begin until the final week of August. It gives Rancho the opportunity to hold two-a-day workouts for about eight days. Santa Rosa schools begin school the third week of August, so don’t have the opportunity to hold two-a-days.
As for the team, Rancho will be young, but have some excellent players returning, particularly at the skill positions. Junior Poueu Peleti-Gore will run the option at QB, replacing Cody Allen, who he backed up last year. Speedster Brian Dworkin, a 1,000-yard rusher returns, and linemen Andrew Richardson and David Calderon are also back.
Rancho Cotate opens the season Sept. 11 at home against Vintage of Napa. The Cougars then play Castlemont of Oakland (9-2 last year), Petaluma and Montgomery.