The message was real this week at San Jacinto High. “38 Days To Rise To The Occasion.” Coach Galliano drilled to his team. It wasn’t aggressive or even loud, but it was constant. “38 Days Fella’s, That’s All You Got To Be Ready.” To the Athletes on the field that might seem like a lifetime, but we all know 38 days can sneak up on you in the blink of an eye. Due to CIF rules and regulations, the players aren’t allowed to be fully dressed out yet. That means no pads for another couple of weeks. Coach G and his coaching staff use this time to implement new plays in their playbook, evaluate new talent, and discuss upgrades/position battles they have on the team.
One thing is for sure. Barring any crazy unforeseen event, the starting quarterback slot is locked down. Kajiya Hollawayne is re-praising his role as the field general of the Tigers this year. Last year as a sophomore he led his team to a CIF championship game and even though they fell short, Kajiya looks poised and ready to run it back in his Junior year. He took command in the passing drills, Telling his guys when they were running the wrong route, not out of cockiness or spite, but like a true leader who cares about his team. One player who seemed to be newer to the program was told to run a 10-yard inside post. Instead of running straight for 8-yards and cutting inside the way the route was designed, he ran a 5-yard slant route.
This may seem like a like no big deal to most people, but Coach G runs a sophisticated offense and expects players to know their roles. If this player was to make a mistake like that in the middle of the game, it could kill the offensive momentum. Kajiya didn’t get mad, chew the player out, or tell the coach. He called the player over to him and took thirty seconds to explain why it’s important for him to know his route and what he is supposed to do. The player said sorry, and they smacked hands. The next time up, he ran a perfect route; a real demonstration of leadership from a future D-1 College Football player.
The defense is starting to come together with players like Sheldon Anchoring the defensive line, Sheldon is a man-child who pushes everything out of his way on his path to the quarterback. Ortiz was holding down the Linebacker group. His coach described him as pure instincts and Rocha being the leader in the secondary. There is plenty of speed and strength on the defensive side, but what those three players bring to the table is something that isn’t too common nowadays and something that most football coaches would love to have in just one player. Pure attitude and aggressiveness, all three of these players took every drill as serious as they would a game. Giving it everything they had, trash-talking, and telling other defensive players if they blew an assignment. One thing I know for sure is the defense is going to be fun to watch.
For more pictures of Hardknocks go to Author Kyle Rae Headlee on Facebook and like that page. If you have a player on the team and see a picture you want, feel free to grab it; I upload all the photos from every practice.