Denair Sports Boosters Host First Annual Bratoberfest

Submitted by Denair Sports Boosters

On Saturday, October 7, 2017, Denair Sports Boosters will be hosting it’s First Annual Bratoberfest & Gun Raffle from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, at the Denair Community Center. They will be serving a variety of Bratwurst, along with sauerkraut, potato salad and a selection of beer for a traditional Octoberfest style celebration. Big screen TV’s will be broadcasting college football throughout the evening, as well as a variety of gun raffles. Tickets are $35 for all you can eat and drink. Proceeds from the event will benefit Denair Football.  Tickets are available by calling (209) 380-8180, or at the door the day of the event.

Despite Loss, Denair Football Coach Sees Improvement

Submitted by Denair High School

Sometimes, especially with a group of young players like this year’s Denair football team, improvement can’t always be measured by wins and losses. Sometimes, statistical dominance can be misleading. Sometimes, progress requires closer analysis.

Such was the case with Friday night’s 42-28 loss by Denair to Gustine – a game in which the Coyotes courageously fought despite being physically overpowered much of the time.

“We played better than we have all year,” complimented coach Anthony Armas. “We still have a lot of things to fix, but we were much more physical.”

Armas’ analysis is based on Denair’s grit and competitiveness. “The last couple of years, Gustine kind of bullied us and knocked us around. Not Friday.”

Gustine still won most every battle in the trenches. The Redskins punished the Denair defense on the ground behind running backs Oliver Perez (20 carries, 173 yards, 3 TDs rushing, 1 receiving), Bryan Villalobos (18 carries, 177 yards, 1 TD) and Brandon Garbez (10 carries, 101 yards).

“They have a really big line and a couple of good backs,” Armas acknowledged, adding that despite the numbers, he thought his defense showed courage. “They ran a lot of power plays against us, but I was proud of the way way we took on blocks. Our issue on defense is we have a lot of young kids who still are trying to understand our scheme.”

In all, Gustine ran for 496 yards and averaged 9 yards a carry. The Reds (1-0 Southern League, 3-1 overall) also passed for 111 yards to pile up more than 600 yards in total offense.

But this is where stats can be deceptive.

Denair (0-1, 1-3) relied on big plays to offset Gustine’s interior dominance. The Coyotes’ shortest touchdown was a 30-yard run by Dylan De Silva in the second quarter that helped forge a 14-14 halftime tie.

Earlier, quarterback Drew Pritchard threw a short pass to Hunter Musgrave, who turned it into a 66-yard TD by racing through the Gustine defense. Musgrave also returned a kickoff 90 yards in the third quarter for another score. Continue reading “Despite Loss, Denair Football Coach Sees Improvement” »

Denair Learns to be the Aggressor in 27-24 Victory Over Millennium

Submitted by Denair High School

Football is a physical game. It’s all about size and strength combined with speed and leverage. The toughest guys don’t always win, but their willingness to deliver and absorb hard hits certainly can set a tone for a team. Younger players, in particular, can be intimidated.

Just ask Denair coach Anthony Armas, a bruising former lineman who must walk a fine line during practice. He recognizes his inexperienced team must learn to be more physical. But with less than 20 players available and most playing both offense and defense, he also realizes that too much hitting during the week risks injuries that could leave the Coyotes at a disadvantage come game time.

Armas thought Denair was dominated in its 48-2 season-opening loss to Summerville. With a bye in Week 2, he and his coaching staff emphasized playing more physically in Saturday’s game against Millennium.

Message received.

Denair won 27-24 thanks to big games from Blake Davis, Drew Pritchard and Steffin Winston – and by playing with more intensity, especially in blocking and tackling.

“Physically, we got tougher. I think Summerville took it to us,” Armas said. “This week, I thought we took it to them (Millennium).”

The Coyotes’ short roster prevents them from lots of hitting during the week. Instead, the coaches use heavy bags and tackling dummies to teach players about leverage and technique. But there is no substitute for live game experience when the adrenalin is flowing under the lights.

“We definitely got better, but there still are a lot of things we need to work on,” assessed Armas.

Denair’s three-headed attack of Hunter Musgrave, Dylan De Silva and Winston “all ran hard,” according to Armas. Winston scored on two short runs in the second quarter as the Coyotes built a 13-6 halftime lead. Continue reading “Denair Learns to be the Aggressor in 27-24 Victory Over Millennium” »

Youth, Lack of Experience Contribute to Season-Opening Loss for Denair Football Team

Submitted by Denair High School

Ten juniors, seven sophomores and just five seniors. That’s the makeup of the 2017 Denair High football team. And if you factor in the differences in physical maturity between those players – as well as the relative lack of experience – Friday night’s 48-2 season-opening loss to Summerville isn’t nearly as surprising as the final score might indicate.

Any thoughts that the momentum of last fall’s overachieving playoff team would carry over to this year were erased by halftime, when the Coyotes trailed 35-0.

“We started very slow,” assessed Denair coach Anthony Armas. “We didn’t adjust to their size and speed. … They definitely were the better team.”

Armas and his staff have two weeks to address the myriad problems he saw from the sideline Friday night and again when watching film over the weekend. Denair has a bye this week and next plays a week from Saturday at Millennium of Tracy.

“We’ve got a lot to work on. We did a lot of stuff wrong,” Armas said. “We misaligned a lot on defense. Assignment wise, we didn’t do what we needed to. … By the second half, a lot of kids were trying to freelance, especially on defense. We need to have them understand what we’re trying to do and understand the schemes.”

Understanding, Armas expects, will come with additional practice. But he also realizes there is no substitute for experience. With the Coyotes’ limited number of players and restrictions on live contact at practice, it’s difficult to replicate varsity game speed in middle of the week.

“I think it was a lot of youth, but at the same time, that’s the hand we’ve been dealt,” Armas said. “We’re not going to make any excuses.”

Amid the disappointment, Denair did do some things right.

“I thought Hunter Musgrave ran the ball very hard. If anyone stood out, it was him,” praised Armas.

Musgrave, a junior, was Denair’s leading rusher and also one of its leading tacklers from his cornerback spot on defense. He didn’t leave the field until late in the game.

The Coyotes’ only points came on a safety in the third quarter when a Summerville player muffed a punt, then fell on the ball in his own end zone.

Despite being “physically manhandled,” Armas believes his players emerged with no major injuries – just the normal assortment of bumps and bruises.

He expects that four practices this week and four more next week before their second game will be enough to correct some of the fundamental problems that doomed them against Summerville. With a heat wave in the forecast, Armas said “we’ll be smart about it” and make sure there is plenty of water on hand.

Junior varsity game: Denair lost 22-6

This week: Bye. Denair (0-1) will be at Millennium of Tracy on Saturday, Sept. 9. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Improvements to Football Field Turf Already Evident

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

It’s no longer safe to be a gopher on the Denair High football field. Though not completely gone – yet – the critters that had turned the sod at Jack Lytton Stadium into a pot-holed minefield are almost completely gone and their tunnels filled in. In their place is an emerald carpet of smooth, lush turf.

The massive improvement in field condition is due to hard work on two fronts: Eradication and restoration.

The first phase included an aggressive trapping project that killed more than 50 gophers by the end of February.

“There are two or three active gopher holes on the football field,” said Facilities Director Brian Holloway. “I’m going to require therapy if I don’t get them soon.”

The second step happened in late February when the pros from West Coast Turf showed up.

Five dump trucks delivered about 125 tons of specially formulated sand, which was spread a quarter-inch deep across the turf. Small tractors loaded with a mixture of Kentucky blue grass and rye seed then worked their way from one end of the field to the other. Fertilizer was applied, followed by another quarter-inch of sand. The final step was to drag the field, helping to fill in the low spots to make for a more uniform surface.

The rains helped. So did all the recent sunshine. Holloway and his staff have kept everyone off the turf for now. The field is mowed twice a week.

“The grass is thicker and greener than when I started,” said Holloway, who was hired in January 2016. “It’s no longer difficult to run on.” Continue reading “Improvements to Football Field Turf Already Evident” »