What’s in a scrimmage?

Fans of the De La Salle High School football team have been looking forward to this season for some time now. With a large group of experienced and talented players, many believe the Spartans can go unbeaten again and reclaim some of the glory that may have been lost over the last two so-called ‘down’ years.

But the team’s performance at the Pittsburg Jamboree last Saturday may have let a little air out of that balloon. The DLS offense looked good most of the time, but the defense gave up numerous touchdowns and often looked a little slow in reading what was happening in front of them. Spartans wide receiver John Hendershott said afterward that the team wasn’t nearly as intense as it should have been.

But by Wednesday, things appeared to be back on the right track for De La Salle as it prepares for Saturday’s opener against Serra. Wednesday night, coach Bob Ladouceur said he hoped people didn’t get too caught up in what happened during the scrimmage.

"I’ve seen scrimmages where we’ve played extremely well and I’ve seen scrimmages where we’ve been exceptionally bad. It doesn’t matter a whole lot when it comes to the game the following week."

Pittsburg, meanwhile, looked exceptionally dangerous. Pierre Mitchell and John Harrell could form the best running back duo in the Bay, quarterback Kraig Pifer appeared more poised and confident and the Pirates defense was fast and physical. Expectations in Pittsburg are high this year, and one couldn’t help but overhear the final chant as the players gathered together in a circle after the scrimmage was over. "STATE CHAMPS!"