SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 5: Serra quarterback Maealiuaki Smith prepares to throw the ball during football practice at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

For Los Gatos coach Mark Krail, the first day of football practice is “like Christmas morning,” where he gets to see if the incoming juniors and seniors live up to the expectations that have been built through an off-season of hard work.

For other coaches, it is a time to drill the game’s most essential fundamentals into the team. For all, the first day of practice is a fresh start to what will hopefully be the first “normal” football season since 2019.

“We don’t even bring up the COVID seasons anymore,” Serra coach Patrick Walsh said. “I’d rather not talk about it ever again.”

Instead of focusing on the grim past, Central Coast Section teams partook in their first official practice of the season on Friday and optimistically prepared for 2022. North Coast Section teams will wait until Monday for their first practice.

Among the dozens and dozens of players scurrying around the glittering green field at Serra’s Brady Family Stadium was senior lineman Ryan Silver, who never stopped working after the team’s December Open Division state championship game loss to Mater Dei-Santa Ana.

“We’ve been lifting at 6:00 a.m. since January, and after we took a week off when summer started, we went straight back to football and conditioning,” the 300-pound San Diego State commit said. “It’s been intense, but I think it’s gonna prepare us for the upcoming season.”

Football fans enjoy the ankle-breaking jukes, hard hits and deep bombs game days bring. But the coaches focused primarily on the mundane but essential aspects of the sport, which are the blocks those highlight moments are built upon.

Walsh knows those fundamentals will need to be automatic if the Padres want to start strong against perhaps the most ruthless row of opponents in Northern California. They head to the Sacramento area to play Folsom, then to …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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