Holding the first week of football practice in early March is “definitely different,” Clear Creek players and coaches described. However, after more than a year away from the field, the …
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Holding the first week of football practice in early March is “definitely different,” Clear Creek players and coaches described. However, after more than a year away from the field, the Golddiggers are ready for some football.
“It’s slowly starting to feel like normal,” junior Michael Hillman said.
Finding ways to stay in shape since last spring has been difficult, he and senior Sean Pollick said. Summer and fall conditioning was hit-and-miss because of COVID-19 restrictions and this winter’s wrestling season was canceled.
But, Coach Danion Baca said Clear Creek made the right decision to opt for a spring football season, describing, “It gave us more time to prepare. The fall season would’ve been rough.”
Baca and his players are also excited to experience longer days and warmer weather as the season progresses rather than the reverse.
“It’s way less cold,” Pollick, a receiver and defensive end, said of playing in the spring.
For those players who are doing winter or spring sports, the seasons don’t overlap too much, Baca explained.
Clear Creek is tentatively scheduled to play five regular season games, starting March 21. While the season is short, Baca expects it to be a very productive one for the entire football program.
The team has 31 players as of Friday’s practice, and Baca is hoping to recruit a few more to have 35 total. Plus, the team will only have six or seven seniors this year.
Additionally, Clear Creek has enough players to field a junior varsity team this spring, which will help build up the program, he said.
Overall, the varsity team is strong but raw, Baca described, and there’s a lot of work to do over the short spring season.
“We did Zoom stuff over the winter, learning the new playbook,” he continued. “ ... They’re getting the concepts down.”
Hillman — who plays running back, quarterback and cornerback — was confident that the team will adjust to the spring conditions and short season, and Pollick felt that the Diggers were pretty well-rounded this year.
Right now, the team’s biggest weakness seems to be discipline, Pollick said, adding, “And it’s not even that much of a problem.”
After more than a year without football, Pollick said he’s looking forward to playing with his teammates and seeing his friends at the games every week.
Baca felt similarly, saying “It feels like it’s been forever since I coached. I’m the head wrestling coach, too, and our season got canceled.”
Come rain, shine or spring snow, he hopes the Diggers will be prepared.
“It’s definitely going to be a crazy year,” Baca said.
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