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Passing tournament

Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010 by Chris Jones
Rebuilding Eagles win two passing tournaments
by Matt Long

After three years of building a football program, Vista del Lago coach Chris Jones is now in rebuilding mode after the first group of seniors graduated from the school.

With only four starters returning on defense and five on offense, there’s plenty of work to be done and the Eagles have accomplished a lot during the offseason.

During 12 practices in May, Jones said the goal was to install the base offense and defense to the newcomers and evaluate their performance.

“We took a good look at the kids who were becoming varsity players for the first time,” Jones said. “It was more positional development than anything else with a minor emphasis on the team aspect of it. I was really happy to see where we’re at, our athleticism and figuring out who could play where.”

Jones said the spring was an important time to blend the returning players in with the new ones.

The team then had about nine practices in shorts and T-shirts to prepare for their team camp at Sacramento State, which was held June 10-14. The team couldn’t get into pads and a helmet until the first day of the football camp.

“We just prepared for the camp as best we could and I was hoping we’d be ready when the pads went on,” Jones said. “It was our second year at the camp and I thought it went really well. I was happy with our progress. We had a good sense of competitiveness, had good energy and a good performance.”

The team held practice in the morning and then was matched up with an opponent for a scrimmage before a break for lunch. After lunch the team held another practice before scrimmaging with another team. In the evening the teams worked on special teams.

During July the Eagles were involved in 7-on-7 passing leagues, on at Del Oro and another at Monterey Trail. The team had a solid July, winning two passing league tournaments in Vacaville and American River College.

“We won a passing tournament in Vacaville, winning all six of our games,” Jones said. “That was great for us. The best thing about those tournaments is the amount of reps you get. It’s key to player development. I think we counted it being the equivalent of 150 snaps total and that’s a lot of reps. The more reps the better and we keep striving to get better each time.”

Once practice starts on Aug. 9, the Eagles have a lot to do in a short amount of time.

“We have a week zero game and that happens in a hurry at the end of August,” Jones said. “That puts a premium on practice time and we’re going to have to be as efficient as possible.”

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