Spring practice ends on positive notes for Warriors
The Del Norte High football team completed its California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Section-permitted spring practice schedule Friday, with its 10th session held over the past two weeks.
Del Norte High sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Adrian Henderson runs with the football during the Warriors’ spring football practice last week. Del Norte concluded its 10th and final spring practice on Friday. Del Norte Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
Early returns are inevitably inconclusive, as the Warriors practiced without pads in accordance with NCS regulations. Translating spring workouts into fall results is a bane of many coaches.
Warriors head coach Ray Rook expressed confidence Thursday about his team’s progress this spring.
“I feel like we have good interchangeable depth from the seniors to the sophomore class,” Rook said. “I feel like a lot of kids are competing for a lot of spots.”
Rook said the Warriors “constantly got better” as the coaching staff installed the offensive and defensive schemes that will be used in the 2012 campaign.
“The base offense is fully installed,” he said. “The kids have seen it; they’ve reacted to it.
“The defense is mostly installed. Defense should be easier to learn, yet there’s more technical things. A lot of decisions (must be made) due to what (players) see, how they react.”
Junior quarterback/safety Dylan Pease said the Warriors’ goal in the summer months will be to “perfect the plays” on offense.
“People are optimistic about it,” Pease said. “It’s a work in progress right now. A lot of people are not used to the new plays.”
Several Del Norte players stood out to Rook over the course of spring, including senior tight end/linebacker Ryan Gomes, senior lineman David Plechaty, junior wide receiver/defensive back Nathan Porter and senior wide receiver/defensive back Matthew Lesh.
The group of players beneath them in class standing is also turning coaches’ heads.
“I think the sophomore class as a whole is committed to this program,” Rook said. “Several could come up and play varsity. We’re only going to bring up pieces that can contribute.”
The varsity players have taken notice.
“There are some younger guys who’ve been showing improvement,” Gomes said.
Due to family, work and other obligations, Rook’s assistant coaches have not always been available for Del Norte’s practices, limiting the individual attention and instruction Rook’s staff can provide to the players on the field.
“People are busy,” Rook said. “Guys are giving up a lot to be here. I can’t say enough about them.”
Del Norte assistant coach and junior varsity head coach Jeremy Lacy suffered a mild heart attack May 30. He has not resumed coaching duties but has made appearances at the Warriors’ last two practices.
“He wanted to say (to the kids) that he’s okay,” Rook said.
The football team will begin conducting summer weight training workouts at 6:30 a.m. Monday, June 18, at the weight room at Del Norte High. The Warriors’ summer football camp will begin on Wednesday, June 20, at 3 p.m. on the Del Norte High practice field. Incoming freshman are highly encouraged to attend.