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Local football teams ready to kick off with scrimmage
pitman football scrimmage
Pitman High offensive coordinator Don Curtiss chats with his offense during a morning practice last week. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

The 2018 prep football season is a little over a week from officially starting, but before that, all six of the Turlock Journal’s coverage area teams are kicking things off with a scrimmage this weekend as they prepare for week one.

Of the six high schools from the coverage area, only Pitman and Hilmar High are staying local, with the Pride hosting Summerville and the Hilmar Yellowjackets at Joe Debely for a three-team scrimmage.

Turlock, Turlock Christian, Delhi and Denair will travel to their respective locations out of town with some scrimmages scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

“Our goal is to compete at this scrimmage. We aren’t focused on going in and winning the scrimmage,” said Turlock head coach James Peterson. “We are looking to compete at a high level and we will see how tough our guys are since we have one of the toughest preseason schedules in modern era. We are more prepared for our game against Freedom that is where we are spending most of our time.”

Turlock’s first week contest will be on the road at Freedom High while Pitman will host Napa, but first will take on the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VI champions.

turlock football scrimmage
Turlock High quarterback Jonah Kosakiewicz gets ready to audible during practice earlier in the week. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

“We are just trying to make a big deal about the scrimmage teams but I know Hilmar is a good program and we get to see some good things,” said Pitman head coach Tom Tyler.

Tyler said that he expects his team to run around 30 to 40 plays total for the day, however he sees other teams crank that number up.

“We don’t want to do 100 reps; we just want to get in and get out and we have a lot of respect as well and Summerville will be there also,” said Tyler. “A lot of guys I watch scrimmage on offense out there and should be there for 60 plays and we want to stick to 30 to 40 plays at the most and so we can get a good look and stuff on film and coach and prepare for the next game.”

The first football game of the year could set the tone for the whole season.

One of the early challenges for all teams include the season starting a week early.

“I have enjoyed that we haven’t had school in session so we been able to get a lot done since when school starts its different,” said Peterson. “It’s been nice to not deal with school schedule. I really enjoyed it; cut into summer for some people, but I am always here anyways, and our kids are committed, nobody complained about it, we want to get that first championship first year in league, everyone wants to do their best.”

If that isn’t enough, the state of California has been attacked by heavy wildfires for several weeks and games could very well be postponed or even cancelled, depending on the air quality throughout California.

The section will keep everyone updated and informed at or on Twitter at cifsjs.

The realignment in the Sac-Joaquin Section will also kick in when the fall year starts in the middle of August and in the mix of it all are the two Division-I schools in the town of Turlock—Pitman and Turlock high schools. Both join the newly constructed Central California Athletic League and are eager to find their place in the rankings.

Hilmar welcomes Livingston into the Trans-Valley League while Denair and Delhi continue their run in the Southern Athletic League.

The Turlock Christian Eagles are expecting to continue progress from a season ago with head coach Rich Goodwin.

Hilmar will be scrimmaging at Joe Debely on Friday against Pitman at 7 p.m.

Denair will scrimmage on the road at Johansen High with Mariposa also competing at 6 p.m. Friday.

Delhi will scrimmage Foothill High School in Sacramento at 7 p.m. Friday.

TC will scrimmage Big Valley Christian on the road at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Turlock will be in a four-team scrimmage at Central Catholic with the Raiders, Calaveras and Buhach Colony at 10 a.m. Saturday.