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Area football teams officially work toward 2010 season
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Connor Pearson, one of the leaders for the Turlock High football team, tries to slow down a teammate on the first day of official practice. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
Some of the players have thought about this moment since November 2009, when their coaches instructed them to turn in their gear for the season and the returners couldn’t help but look ahead. A lot of them continued to think about the moment when they were in the weight room sweating it out and making their biceps and legs bigger, and when they were competing in various passing leagues.But now …“The long wait is over,” Pitman coach Brandon Harris said.Yes, football season is here. Though the first game isn’t until three Friday nights from now, all the high school football teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section began practicing Monday. Players arrived bright and early with shorts and T-shirts on, all of them knowing that they were going to be put to work.It was no different in the Turlock area.All five area schools — Pitman, Turlock, Turlock Christian, Denair and Hilmar — took huge steps toward the 2010 season by wrapping up two days of mandatory conditioning. Today, the teams can officially begin working out in football pads. This will eventually lead to the season-opening date: Aug. 27.When that time comes, the storylines will begin to unfold.Turlock aims to make spectators forget about their 2009 run, when the Bulldogs went 0-10.Pitman wants to win a Central California Conference title and avoid placing second, a bittersweet result that has happened every year since 2006.Turlock Christian wants to redeem itself after ending the 2009 season with a loss to Southern League rival Denair.Denair is determined to prove last season’s playoff run wasn’t a fluke.And Hilmar prepares to reunite with Trans-Valley League foes after a five-year absence.With all that in mind, area teams believe they have a lot to prove. And that’s why they were out sweating and running on Monday and Tuesday, when the sun was blazing.“To me,” Turlock coach James Peterson said, “when you don’t have your gear on and your guys aren’t together, it doesn’t feel like it’s football.”He then looked at the field where his players were practicing and said, “Here is the real thing.”To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.