Fall is in the air

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Spring practice was in full swing last week for the San Benito Haybalers. Above, Danny Maiello (r.) tries to make the catch while defender Dustin Franco looks to break up the play.

Spring practice took place last week at SBHS, and provided a
fresh start for the ‘Balers
Hollister

For seven days, at least, the back fields at San Benito High School were aloud with the sounds of fall.

Players were speaking their own language of grunts and groans, the plastic covering on the blocking dummies was snapping with each hit, numbers and letters were being formed to make sentences, and plays, that were only understandable to the players, and the hoarse voice of head coach Chris Cameron rang through like it had just six months before.

For seven days, at least, football was being played at SBHS.

Spring practice was in full force last week, providing a buffer from the end of spring sports to the start of the summer months, and supplied the Haybalers coaching staff with one last glimpse of what they’ll be seeing in August.

“It’s good to get them out there and kind of knock off a little rust,” defensive coordinator Tod Thatcher said. “It gives us coaches a chance to see who’s coming out, knock a little rust off and run around.”

While seven days is certainly not a lot of time to do much of anything, coaches were able to get a look at what they have and what they don’t have, what needs to be worked on, and, of course, to set the mentality of the players for June and July – two months where the players are pretty much on their own.

The first scheduled practice for San Benito is Aug. 6.

Said Thatcher, “Just enough (time) to get them going and take them into the summer.”

The seven-day limit is a Tri-County Athletic League bylaw for spring practice, but offensive coordinator Bryan Smith already had the team running plays by last Wednesday – the seventh and final day of practice.

“We’ve put a lot in. Bryan wanted to get some plays in,” Cameron said. “He wanted to get a lot of stuff going.”

Cameron said he was impressed with what he saw out of some of his players – “I saw some real nice strides over the course of seven days,” he said – and was already eyeing leadership roles in the short week of practice.

For the veterans, spring practice sets the stage for the upcoming season. For the varsity rookies, spring practice can get you noticed.

San Benito will play in their first scrimmage on Aug. 29, although the teams haven’t been announced, while their first game is slated to kick off at Milpitas on Sept. 5.

“[Spring practice] is important because we haven’t been on the field in some time,” Cameron said. “It’s a way for us to put the past behind us and move on. It’s for us to put an official start to something new.”

For seven days, football was back.

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