Western Sierra gets first taste of scrimmage

By: Jim Linsdau of The Placer Herald and News Messenger
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After an inexplicable cancellation of a football scrimmage by Vacaville Christian, Western Sierra Collegiate Academy had to accept an invite from Natomas High School to play Saturday.

It proved a bit of a mismatch with established programs like Natomas, San Juan and Division II McClatchy, especially for a first-ever scrimmage, but the Wolves did learn from the experience.

“I think the biggest thing I saw was the attitude after the scrimmage,” WSCA head coach JP Dolliver said. “The kids were drawn a little closer to the sport. They embraced the competition.”

Dolliver said he was led to believe the competition would not be quite the way it turned out. But thanks to Dolliver’s conditioning efforts in the offseason, there were no serious injuries.

Western Sierra’s roster also includes a number of freshmen. And they only have a couple of players more than 200 pounds. The more established programs have several players in excess of 200 pounds with considerably more experience playing tackle football.

“The kids have come a long way,” said Dolliver. “The competition has gotten better, but so has our play.”

The competition will come down more to size now as the Wolves enter their 2015 campaign. The Division VII school has not been assigned to a league and will play as independents this season.

They open this Friday hosting the California School for the Deaf at 7 p.m. Friday. The game is on the football field at Mahany Park, where the academy will play all of its home games.

“I would encourage people to come out and see a brand new program right from the get-go,” Dolliver said, “and watch a group of kids that want to, not necessarily win, but do well.”

Dolliver and his coaching staff stress the four “Cs” – commitment, courage, compassion and confidence. He said Saturday’s scrimmage went a long way in teaching the players why the coaches ask them to do what they do.