Sports

Work outside of sports season is important, especially for football

Foothill High School football coach Greg Haubner fist-bumps a player after a game last fall. (File Photo)

High school sports have pretty much become a year-round business these days.

If you want to be successful as a team or as an individual, putting in the work outside of your season of sport is not just encouraged, it is a must.

And this includes the summer. Oh, there is always time for the family vacation, especially with COVID shutting down many family trips over the last few years, but there must be a commitment to your sport of choice.

High schools make the most out of the summer months, but they share the time available not just with family schedules, but with travel teams as well.

In baseball, volleyball, basketball and softball, to name a few sports, summer brings prime travel team times. Some may play for their high school coach, but most play for teams that draw players from several cities.

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While the athletes are not playing with their high school coaches, they are putting in the work and, with a lot of the travel teams, they are often playing at a higher level than their high school.

Then there is football, a sport that arguably needs the most off-season work, but can’t fully practice in pads. That leaves the summer for getting in drills so when the first official practice starts in early August, time is not being wasted.

“You want to hit the ground running on August 8,” said Foothill football coach Greg Haubner of the first day of official practice. “Gone are the hardcore double-days. Football has become an 11-month process.”

“We get about 14 sessions during the summer,” said California High coach Danny Calcagno. “When the season starts, you want to be ready to go.”

Haubner and Calcagno have the largest voids to fill as both had the luxury of strong senior leadership and talent last season.

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Foothill lost players like quarterback Nick Walsh – the East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) Valley Division MVP – and multi-positional stars such as Kenny Olson, Conner Perez, Brandon Sousa, Tony Schillaci, Ethan Hoffman and Noah Lombardi.

Calcagno and Cal High saw the prolific QB/WR duo of Teddy Booras and Jake Calcagno move on, as well as Trevor Rund, Keith Hirtle and Macray Madruga.

“This (summer) is mostly about installing,” said Calcagno. “This year we are so young. Last year we had a lot of returning players, and with spring COVID football it seemed like we never really stopped.”

Haubner, as does Calcagno, enters the summer with the same game plan, but also acknowledge there are some new starters in key positions.

“Make no mistake – we have points of emphasis,” said Haubner. “We have some key spots we have to replace for this next season.”

For both schools, and for the rest of the EBAL, the summer focuses on weight lifting, conditioning and summer passing league, which allows quarterbacks and their receiving corps to get on the same page.

The advent of summer football camps at colleges and family vacations are the two biggest things when it comes to taking time away from the high school programs.

The camps are a great way for athletes to get exposure with college programs, who seemingly every year are recruiting athletes, rather than specific positions.

Vacations have always been part of summer for athletics, but not so much the last few years, with many shutdowns because of the pandemic.

Amador Valley coach Danny Jones has tried to establish the same dates each summer, hoping the families will plan their vacations around summer football.

“Last summer was the worst because we had so many parents saying, ‘look, we haven’t been able to do anything, so we are going’,” said Jones. “This summer has returned to more of a normal one.”

Haubner wants to make sure communication works both ways.

“It’s all about expectation and communication. I depend on six captains to communicate with their group of players,” said Haubner. “We understand kids and their families have their time over the summer, but at the same time we are going all in trying to win a league title and we have to put in the work.”

All three coaches understand family vacations, but want players to understand if they miss too much, it may come at a cost.

“My approach to the summer has always been, if you have a vacation scheduled, go do it,” explained Calcagno. “But if August rolls around and you don’t know the plays, you won’t play as much.”

Jones agreed.

“Naturally, it’s going to affect playing time,” said Jones of players missing summer activities. “This bus is moving and we’re not going to stop.”

For Jones most of the issues come with other summer sports.

“Summer baseball and AAU basketball are the biggest things,” said Jones. “It’s crazy how many different sports kids are playing now. I just want it to be fair. You get the kids that say college baseball is where my next level will be. I understand that, and you are always going to have that. As I said, that is naturally going to affect playing time.”

Now we are in the third week of June, both high school and summer travel sports are going strong. Hopefully everyone finds their balance and when August rolls around, teams are ready to roll.

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Work outside of sports season is important, especially for football

by Dennis Miller / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Jun 20, 2022, 4:16 pm

High school sports have pretty much become a year-round business these days.

If you want to be successful as a team or as an individual, putting in the work outside of your season of sport is not just encouraged, it is a must.

And this includes the summer. Oh, there is always time for the family vacation, especially with COVID shutting down many family trips over the last few years, but there must be a commitment to your sport of choice.

High schools make the most out of the summer months, but they share the time available not just with family schedules, but with travel teams as well.

In baseball, volleyball, basketball and softball, to name a few sports, summer brings prime travel team times. Some may play for their high school coach, but most play for teams that draw players from several cities.

While the athletes are not playing with their high school coaches, they are putting in the work and, with a lot of the travel teams, they are often playing at a higher level than their high school.

Then there is football, a sport that arguably needs the most off-season work, but can’t fully practice in pads. That leaves the summer for getting in drills so when the first official practice starts in early August, time is not being wasted.

“You want to hit the ground running on August 8,” said Foothill football coach Greg Haubner of the first day of official practice. “Gone are the hardcore double-days. Football has become an 11-month process.”

“We get about 14 sessions during the summer,” said California High coach Danny Calcagno. “When the season starts, you want to be ready to go.”

Haubner and Calcagno have the largest voids to fill as both had the luxury of strong senior leadership and talent last season.

Foothill lost players like quarterback Nick Walsh – the East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) Valley Division MVP – and multi-positional stars such as Kenny Olson, Conner Perez, Brandon Sousa, Tony Schillaci, Ethan Hoffman and Noah Lombardi.

Calcagno and Cal High saw the prolific QB/WR duo of Teddy Booras and Jake Calcagno move on, as well as Trevor Rund, Keith Hirtle and Macray Madruga.

“This (summer) is mostly about installing,” said Calcagno. “This year we are so young. Last year we had a lot of returning players, and with spring COVID football it seemed like we never really stopped.”

Haubner, as does Calcagno, enters the summer with the same game plan, but also acknowledge there are some new starters in key positions.

“Make no mistake – we have points of emphasis,” said Haubner. “We have some key spots we have to replace for this next season.”

For both schools, and for the rest of the EBAL, the summer focuses on weight lifting, conditioning and summer passing league, which allows quarterbacks and their receiving corps to get on the same page.

The advent of summer football camps at colleges and family vacations are the two biggest things when it comes to taking time away from the high school programs.

The camps are a great way for athletes to get exposure with college programs, who seemingly every year are recruiting athletes, rather than specific positions.

Vacations have always been part of summer for athletics, but not so much the last few years, with many shutdowns because of the pandemic.

Amador Valley coach Danny Jones has tried to establish the same dates each summer, hoping the families will plan their vacations around summer football.

“Last summer was the worst because we had so many parents saying, ‘look, we haven’t been able to do anything, so we are going’,” said Jones. “This summer has returned to more of a normal one.”

Haubner wants to make sure communication works both ways.

“It’s all about expectation and communication. I depend on six captains to communicate with their group of players,” said Haubner. “We understand kids and their families have their time over the summer, but at the same time we are going all in trying to win a league title and we have to put in the work.”

All three coaches understand family vacations, but want players to understand if they miss too much, it may come at a cost.

“My approach to the summer has always been, if you have a vacation scheduled, go do it,” explained Calcagno. “But if August rolls around and you don’t know the plays, you won’t play as much.”

Jones agreed.

“Naturally, it’s going to affect playing time,” said Jones of players missing summer activities. “This bus is moving and we’re not going to stop.”

For Jones most of the issues come with other summer sports.

“Summer baseball and AAU basketball are the biggest things,” said Jones. “It’s crazy how many different sports kids are playing now. I just want it to be fair. You get the kids that say college baseball is where my next level will be. I understand that, and you are always going to have that. As I said, that is naturally going to affect playing time.”

Now we are in the third week of June, both high school and summer travel sports are going strong. Hopefully everyone finds their balance and when August rolls around, teams are ready to roll.

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