Yet those same coaches would still prefer that their teams emerge victorious from what could accurately be called exhibition games.
The Patterson High football team participated in such an exhibit June 29, at Patterson Community Stadium, a scrimmage that also featured Western Athletic Conference rivals Livingston High and Pacheco High of Los Banos, as well as, Orestimba High of Newman, Ripon High, Sierra High of Manteca, Manteca High and Turlock High.
“The focus of the passing tournament is to work on each teams’ passing game in a competitive atmosphere against other schools,” Patterson coach Nick Marchy said. “With all the different schools, there were many different offenses and defenses. There were 19 games between schools for the day.”
At the Patterson High tournament, Sierra won the championship, beating the host Tigers in the final.
The schools shared the field, rotating between offensive and defensive play, using the opportunity to help coaches answer questions about their teams before the games really count.
“I want our players to get better physically and mentally. We work on team-building and becoming one unit,” Marchy said. “We want the kids to learn and understand our offensive and defensive philosophies so that it makes it easier once the season starts.”
Last month’s scrimmage was another chance for the players to build momentum for their Aug. 30 season-opener on the road against Johansen High of Modesto.
“The first game is the most important game of the year. It sets the tone for the season and gets us off on the right step,” Marchy said. “We will start on the road, which is always tough to play at someone else’s stadium. But I believe we will be ready and take the first step of the year in the right direction.”
Patterson won its division of the Modesto Junior College seven-on-seven passing tournament on July 13, defeating WAC foe Central Valley High of Ceres in the semifinals and Pacheco in the final.
“We have been working out long before summer started and school got out. Our kids have put in a large number of hours in the weight room and on the field,” Marchy said. “We have been completing practices as if we were in the middle of the season, and preparing for our first game.”
The positives of a scrimmage are obvious.
Going up against outside competition, even if it turns out to be inferior, gives coaches a better gauge of strengths and weaknesses than constantly putting the first unit up against the second- and third-stringers.
“We have installed a lot of our offense and defense but we still have a lot more to install to prepare for the start of the season,” Marchy said.
Facing another team also allows players to work out kinks in the heat of battle in a way that can’t be accomplished against their teammates. The adrenaline flows differently in a game setting, and the speed of play increases.
“The kids are excited about the season and (competing for) a WAC championship,” Marchy said. “We just have one goal, and that is to win no matter who we play, and all the kids believe in it.”
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.