Corona’s 2009 football players may not quite be ready for prime time, but aspiring freshman players already have endured sweltering conditions to participate in a weeklong freshman football camp under recently promoted head coach Ken Olson.
Olson took over the freshman program in June after his predecessor, Dave Vibber, retired in May. Four freshman coaches will be responsible for getting incoming Corona freshman players ready to play high school football by Sept. 2.
“I will be responsible for calling the defense and overseeing the entire insertion of the team,” said Olson. “I have appointed as offensive coordinator Pete Pond, offensive /defensive line coach Dave Spadafore and QB/ defensive back coach Jason Difrancisco.”
In addition to getting their players ready for the upcoming season, Corona’s coaches have been watching them carefully in this triple-digit heat and taking lots of water breaks.
“I’m using a formula that calculates the minimum amount of water each football players needs in an attempt to combat the heat,” said Olson. “Each player should drink five ounces of H2O for every 10 pounds of body weight. I am also asking our athletes to refrain from eating junk food and drinking soda and coffee.”
Corona athletes will be playing against new 5A-I region opponents this season. Redistricting altered the schools’ alignment, but Corona ended up keeping the same region name.
“The 5A was going to change our region name since so many teams moved around,” said CdS athletic director Dan Nero.
“But they changed their minds, and our region is still called the Central Region. The teams now in our region are Basha, Dobson, Gilbert, Highland, Mesquite and Mesa Mountain View. Lots of competition.”
So what does Coach Olson think about his freshman team’s prospects in the upcoming season?
“I think we will be competitive,” he said. “I’m pleased with some of the speed I’ve seen so far. I won’t now about the skill level of the players for a couple more weeks when we get into more game-type situations.”
Olson also thinks Corona’s freshman team should be up to playing anyone in the new region.
“Some schools added to our region have great traditions and the expectations are high. I want to bring that tradition to CdS,” said Olson.
“But you have to keep in mind that all the teams are still high school kids, and we all play the same.”
“Our main competition may be among ourselves,” said Olson. “You need to remember that these players are all new to high school athletic requirements, and some have never played before. Getting the best players on the team at the correct positions and then playing together as a team will be our main challenge.”
Corona’s freshman team will meet non-region opponent Brophy Broncos at home on Sept. 2.