The fall sports season includes football, boys soccer, volleyball, cross country, girls golf and girls tennis. Individual schools establish their own voluntary practice dates and schedules, but Monday, Aug. 12, was the first day they were officially allowed by the Sac-Joaquin Section to gather and get started.
"We are looking at a very talented group of student-athletes, but many of our girls are also balancing the demands of other activities in their schedules," said varsity volleyball coach Tarah High. "Regardless, many of our girls have shown dedication to their team by showing up to tryouts on the first day."
The sounds of the season were in the air Monday at Patterson Community Stadium: the pop of football pads, the muffled footfalls of cross country runners, the dull thud of shoe leather meeting soccer balls.
Coaches and players are preparing for their upcoming contests, and the hopes of winning seasons are once again high.
"The first week of tryouts is where we see who has been working in the offseason, who wants it, and who can hack it," said junior varsity boys soccer coach Cade Tomasegovich. "Usually, by the end of the week, we have a pretty good idea of what the team is going to be like."
After a summer of voluntary workouts and camps, volleyball players are ready to begin official preparations for the fall, according to second-year varsity coach High.
"We hope to be more physically and mentally demanding at practice this year. Each girl will be asked to pursue a specific position on the team where they will focus on thoughtful repetition of physical skills," High said. "Girls will be expected to push their limits and make sacrifices in order to benefit the effectiveness of the team."
High hopes her varsity volleyball squad can improve upon a 3-9 league record in 2012.
"Players who are trying out for the team were expected to put in a minimum of 20 hours of physical activity during the spring workouts and summer clinics," High said.
Their first scrimmage will be Aug. 28 on the road against Lathrop High.
Last year, Patterson's varsity football team (7-4 overall) recorded its eighth consecutive winning campaign while reaching the playoffs for an eighth straight season.
Patterson's varsity football team will open the preseason with a scrimmage Aug. 23 on the road against Golden Valley High of Merced.
Tomasegovich returns for his second season as the varsity boys soccer assistant coach after the Western Athletic Conference co-champion Tigers finished in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
"At this level, the players need to keep competing during the offseason," Tomasegovich said. "We have a competitive program and we play in a competitive league, so staying sharp and on top of your game is crucial."
The team’s opener will be Aug. 30 and 31 at the Pitman High Tournament in Turlock.
The cross country program welcomes back Joe Aguilar as the boys coach, along with first-year girls coach Sara Gomez.
Last year, for the first time, Patterson High’s varsity cross-country team captured the top individual spots in the boys and girls races in the WAC championship.
Senior Nathan Stanton won the boys 3.1-mile race in 16 minutes, 26 seconds, leading the Tigers to a third-place team finish. Teammate junior Lupe Ventura was the top finisher in the girls race, completing the same course in 21:09, helping Patterson secure fourth in the league championship.
Both cross country squads will hit the ground running Sept. 11 at the WAC preseason meet at River Bluff Regional Park in Ceres.
Coach Jason Oliveira and his girls golf team will begin the season with an Aug. 30 match against Livingston High at Rancho Del Rey Golf Course in Atwater.
Fourth-year coach Raustand Nzoule will lead the girls tennis team into its opener Sept. 10 on the road against Livingston High.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com