By Bill Tamburrino
Spring football began on May 21 and will finish on June 6. The spring season started with the traditional Lift-a-Thon and will conclude with a team softball game and barbecue, and in between coach Damon Baldwin and his staff scheduled 11 practices.
This year’s theme is “Do Right! All in…Finish.” Baldwin wants his players to work hard in and out of the classroom and on the field. He wants a team attitude and he would like to finish. By finish, Baldwin would like to win the last game of the season.
Last year the Dawgs made a run at the Division II title and lost in the title game. This year Baldwin would like to win that final game. It will be harder. The Dawgs have been moved up to Division I.
Baldwin has sent 25 Bulldog football players to play in the college ranks since he arrived at RHS in 2005.
“So far this spring I have seen more college recruiters inquiring about more football players since I have been here. We have at least nine legit potential players who have the skills and grades to play at the next level and recruiters know about them. USC, UCLA, San Diego State, Washington, Boise State, Cal, Montana, Air Force, San Jose State, Yale, Western New Mexico have all visited RHS and are looking at our players.”
Overall 121 student/athletes are participating in spring drills. Thirty will be seniors next fall, 33 will be juniors, and 58 will be sophomores.
Ramona continues to operate one of the strongest North County football programs with the least amount of on-campus coaches in the North County. Baldwin has only one on-campus full-time coach on his staff — wide receiver coach Mike Ernst. The other coaches come from other jobs and professions.
“I love the dedication and commitment to the kids that our staff has,” he said.
Baldwin has five former Bulldog football players on his staff. Chris Lohman, a former all-league lineman, and Erik Ernst, a three-year letterman at quarterback, played for Baldwin. Lohman will work with linemen and long snappers. Ernst will coach quarterbacks and call the junior varsity offense.
John Baum, George Cobian and Shawn Boyd played at RHS before Baldwin’s tenure. Baum will coach tight ends and be the head junior varsity coach. Cobian and Boyd, both college linemen, will coach the linemen on next year’s frosh team.
Ben Cass returns for his second year on the frosh staff and John Pecoraro will join this year’s frosh staff. Jeremy Drews is back and will be the head frosh coach.
Baldwin has often called coach Rheynard Morgan “the most valuable and dedicated person in the football program.” Morgan will add coaching the running backs to his other duties. Morgan has been in charge of quality control, filming and equipment and kickers in the past.
Stephon Pace will continue to call the varsity defense and 25-year coaching veteran Gene Andrews will coach linebackers and call the JV defense. Seven- year coaching veteran Brent Harvey will handle the varsity defensive line. Coach Phillip Skora will work with Harvey and coach varsity and junior varsity defensive linemen.
“Don’t forget to mention the Bulldog Angels and managers! They are literally life savers. We have 10 Bulldog hydration specialists and one manager. We could use more, especially incoming frosh Angels and managers. Filmers are also needed. If any student or adult is interested in supporting our program in these capacities please contact me or coach Morgan,” said Baldwin.