While clinics, tournaments and scrimmages kept some student-athletes busy all summer long, Monday was the first day the Sac-Joaquin Section allowed teams to begin formal fall sports workouts and tryouts.
Classes at Patterson High School start on Monday, Aug. 13.
Football, boys soccer, volleyball, cross country, girls golf and girls tennis teams compete during the fall season.
“This time of year allows the kids a fresh start and a chance to get involved in something,” said varsity volleyball coach Tarah High. “Sports have always been a big part of the community, too. So there’s lots of excitement surrounding this season.”
Hopes for winning seasons are already high among players and coaches, including Joe Aguilar, the varsity boys cross country coach.
“Most of the athletes who showed up (on Monday) were kids who participated in voluntary workouts over the summer,” Aguilar said. “We’re hoping that the attitude and enthusiasm of our returning athletes will carry over to the newcomers.”
After a summer of voluntary workouts and seven-on-seven passing camps, football players are ready to begin official preparations for the fall, according to second-year coach Nick Marchy.
“We’re practicing twice a day, with about 50 kids at the varsity level,” Marchy said. “It’s great to see the kids back out on the field and working hard.”
Last year, Patterson (7-4 overall) recorded its seventh consecutive winning campaign while reaching the playoffs for a seventh straight season.
“The kids are excited — there’s been lots of hooting and hollering,” Marchy said. “The anticipation and excitement from the community is also starting to ramp up. We’re going to keep working so that we’re ready to go when it matters.”
Patterson football teams will open the preseason Aug. 24 at home against Johansen High of Modesto.
Greg Hartsell returns for his ninth season as the boys soccer coach after the Tigers finished just short of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs in 2011. The team’s opener will be Aug. 24 and 25 at the Pitman High Tournament in Turlock.
The cross country program welcomes back Dave Klein, the school’s athletic director, as the girls coach, along with second-year boys coach Aguilar.
“We don’t have a lot of time to waste, so improving each day is a must for the kids,” Aguilar said. “The pressure is there, and we’re ready to accept that challenge.”
Last year, Patterson’s girls cross country team fell short of a fifth-straight Western Athletic Conference crown. The boys team finished second in the league championship at Ceres’ River Bluff Regional Park.
Both cross country squads will hit the ground running Sept. 5 at the WAC preseason meet at River Bluff Regional Park.
High hopes that her varsity volleyball squad can improve upon a 6-6 league record in 2011.
“We have a very dedicated group of girls who have been showing up for (voluntary) workouts all summer,” High said. “It’s great to see their commitment to the program and their enthusiasm to continue to grow and learn.”
Their first game will be Aug. 25 on the road against Orestimba High of Newman.
Coach Jason Oliveira and his girls golf team will begin the season with an Aug. 27 match against Orestimba at Diablo Grande.
Third-year coach Raustand Nzoule will lead the girls tennis team into its opener Sept. 4 at home against Livingston High.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org