Bulldogs prepare for tough football season

No. 4 Hunter McHargue gets ready to go down field with a pass in warmups. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino
No. 4 Hunter McHargue gets ready to go down field with a pass in warmups. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino

By Bill Tamburrino

The Ramona Bulldog football teams have finished the most physically and mentally demanding part of the season and are going on to regular practice and game day schedule.

Two-a-day practices ended last Saturday with Family Day at the Dawg Pound. All three football teams held inter-squad scrimmages. The scrimmages were controlled,  meaning that the coaching staff used very quick whistles to minimize the possibilities of injuries.

The main emphasis was alignment and assignment.

“We want to get the teams in their game uniforms and in the stadium. We want to make sure that the uniforms fit and that the players get comfortable wearing them in front of a crowd. Our goal has always been to get the players game-ready and to keep them healthy,” said  Coach Damon Baldwin.

Next Friday the three teams will take the second step in getting ready for the season. All three squads will travel to San Pasqual High School and take part in a four-way scrimmage against squads from San Pasqual, Carlsbad and San Marcos high schools. The frosh will play at 3 p.m., the junior varsity at 4 p.m. and the varsity at 6 p.m.

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No. 6 Travis Kerchner shows great concentration as he grabs a Hunter McHargue pass in warmups. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino

This season the Bulldog varsity is young. Last season they were very young as the Dawgs listed 27 seniors on their roster but relied on a corps of sophomores. On the roster this season are seven seniors who played varsity last year, and 11 seniors who were on the junior varsity  squad or are new to the program. Nineteen juniors, 10 of whom are lettermen, are on the squad, as are six sophomores.

“We are a junior dominant team. Injuries forced us to use 10 sophomores last year. So we are still young but we do have experience and at key positions,” said Baldwin.

“We are rebuilding the offensive line. This is the first season since I have been here that we do not have a returning letterman on the offensive line. However, I do like the talent and size of our o-line. Our defensive line is going to be very good and our linebackers all return. Our secondary is very athletic,” continued Baldwin who is entering his eighth season coaching the Bulldogs.

“Hunter McHargue was forced into the fire at QB last season and will be a standout QB this season. He has a big time arm. Our wide receiver corps is tall and rangy. Our tight ends will be very good. Christian Drews has the makings as a big time player. He was honorable mention All Palomar as a sophomore last season at linebacker.

“Javier Dominguez is an All CIF talent in the making. He was our only first string all Palomar League player last season at defensive back. He will be a two-way star this season as he will play tailback too.

“We have a very tough schedule. It may be the toughest in the section based on last year’s finishers,” said Baldwin

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Daniel VanTol and Patrick Hastings stretch out before the scrimmage on family night. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino

The Bulldogs will remain in the Palomar League in football only. The rest of the athletic department will be competing in the Valley League.

Next week the Bulldogs will get their first taste of outside competition in a scrimmage and in two weeks they will officially open the 2012 season at the Dawg Pound against Grossmont High School.

   
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