YUCCA VALLEY — The Yucca Valley High School football team is gearing up for the fall season with summer training. Last week they took on Barstow Aztec football in a 7 versus 7 game and new head coach John Stewart said the tough competition helped them discover what they need to train on before their first league match.
“These games only help us improve,” Stewart said. “It makes it easy to see what’s going on and then work on getting back to the basics.”
At the 7-versus-7, the game was stripped down to only seven players per team with no offensive or defensive lines. Similar to in touch football, a player is considered down when he or she is touched below the neck by a defender.
“We got to see a lot of the stuff that we need to improve on,” Stewart said. “The big thing that the coaches have been noticing is that we need to work on maintaining our discipline with every play.”
The Trojans have been training through the summer, working in the weight room on building their strength and working on the field learning plays, Stewart said. This week they are beginning to train with helmets and shoulder pads.
Stewart said during this training and moving into the fall season, he will be looking to his upperclassmen to help him lead the team. Returning player and quarterback Braden Brimhall will be taking on a leadership role along with some other seniors, including Anthony Olvera, Aaron Arceo and Jeremiah Judd.
Juniors Tayten Shartel, Bo Platt and Cole Davis have also been performing well in the off-season, Stewart said, and are expected to be strong players in the fall.
“We’re excited about having a strong junior class,” he said. “It shows a good future for the program.”
The Trojans’ first game of the season will begin at 7 p.m. Aug. 23 on their home field. The varsity team will take the field against Chaffey High School.