High School Football

Local Digest: Escalon coach says Cougars ‘not afraid of losing’ to large-school Downey

2019 High School Football Preview: Escalon

Escalon returns 17 starters from last year and has one of the most talented teams in the area. Senior running back Kaden Christensen said the team hasn't lost focus of their goals.
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Escalon returns 17 starters from last year and has one of the most talented teams in the area. Senior running back Kaden Christensen said the team hasn't lost focus of their goals.

Escalon coach Andrew Beam said Friday’s game against Downey will be used to get the team ready for the upcoming Trans-Valley League season.

“We want to expose our team to different offenses,” Beam said. “They have a ton of formations and weapons and they spread you out to throw, not to run like in our league.”

Despite being the No. 1 ranked small-school team by the Bee, the Cougars face a big challenge in the Knights, a team with double the number of players.

“We want to challenge ourselves and are not afraid of losing,” Beam said. “We as a team would not be ready to play them in Week 1. Scheduling them for Week 4 allowed us time to get in rhythm.”

Beam said he hasn’t talked to any of the other TVL coaches about the game but said they all root for each other to represent the league well, especially from a large-school conference like the Central California Athletic League.

Escalon will enter Friday’s game healthy. Beam attributed his injury-free team to staying hydrated and doing yoga every Wednesday morning instead of lifting weights.

“We need to limit the errors and run the football well,” Beam said. “We have the capabilities to spread it out and be more than one-dimensional.”

MJC football home opener this Saturday: After 33-20 win over Laney last Friday, Modesto Junior College will host Sierra at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets are $9 for general admission, $6 for seniors/veterans/students, $5 for MJC staff and students, $3 for children ages seven to 10, and free for children under seven.

News and Notes:

  • Gregori girls tennis won the Division II team title at the California Girls Tennis Classic in Fresno on Sept. 6-7. The tournament featured nearly 100 teams and is one of the biggest tournaments in the country. Gregori won two matches on a tiebreaker and beat Bullard, 4-2 in the title match.
  • After helping the USA Under-18 National Team earn a silver medal at the U-18 Baseball World Cup in South Korea, Turlock senior catcher Tyler Soderstrom made the U-18 All-World Team as a designated hitter. Soderstrom finished the tournament with a .294 batting average and 10 RBIs.
  • University of Colorado junior defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson (Turlock High, Modesto Junior College) was named the Pac-12 Conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Week after registering eight tackles and three sacks in the Buffaloes’ 34-31 overtime win over Nebraska on last Saturday.
  • Yes, that was former Turlock High baseball star Kevin Kramer who got the Pittsburgh Pirates going Monday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco. Pittsburgh’s 2015 second-round pick led off the ninth inning with a single, and the Pirates went on to score four runs to come from behind and beat the Giants 6-4. It was Kramer’s first hit in four official at-bats this season. He’a also walked twice. He was called up last week from the team’s Triple-A club in Indianapolis.
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Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.
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