The Exeter High School Football team will be starting their 2016 campaign in just a few weeks, coming off of an 8-4 season in 2015. The Monarchs also made the playoffs, but lost in the second round to Cesar Chavez High School.
In preparing for this new season, Head Coach Chris Frankland is trying to leave the past in past and just stay focused on this season. He doesn’t want to dwell on what happened last year, and doesn’t want his team thinking about last season.
“I don’t like talking about last year. Last year was last year. Those guys are gone, and we’re trying to come together with these players.
It always sounds like a cliché, but this is a hard working group,” Frankland continued. “They’re making strides to get better every day.”
Frankland believes that in the past, his teams were way too careless with the football. That is something he is actively trying to improve this coming season.
“It’s an aspect we’ve focused on and have put high emphasis on. Another aspect to improve is our tempo on offense. We need to learn the difference between controlled and fast.”
With any team, there are leaders, whether they show it on the field or verbally. Frankland does look to some of his more experienced players to show some leadership for younger players.
“It’s been a good problem for us to have, because we have a captain’s council, and it’s a group of young men that are leaders. They’re working hard in the classroom and in the weightroom. It could start with five or ten people, and it can just keep growing. They’re still developing leadership qualities, but it can spread around the team. That’s one of our strengths is that we have a lot of good character kids.”
In these practices early on in the season, there has been one thing that Frankland has preached to his team. It’s something he’s been telling his team since the first practice.
“Execute. It’s the simplest, most complicated word in football. Our expectations for our players are clear and precise. Every game you have a gameplan, you execute your job. If you execute, you don’t turn the ball over. We should be able to execute and focus on our jobs, and execute at high level, and they’re starting to buy in to that.”
Frankland will be expecting a lot from his seniors, and considers them to be some of his leaders. One of those seniors is cornerback Bryan Pasillas, who discussed last season and the leadership qualities of this team.
“We have a whole new team this year, so I try to leave last season. We all try to be leaders on this team. It’s like a brotherhood.”
Another one of those seniors is defensive tackle and center Anthony Perez. He talked about the little mistakes that have been made in practice, and expectations for the upcoming season.
“We’ve made some mental mistakes. They’re little things though. They’re things we can get rid of. I expect playoffs. Everyone has been in the weightroom working on that goal. They’re giving everything.”
Quarterback Skylar Miller, another senior, who is coming off of an injury last year, explained how he is putting trying to put it behind him.
“I’m putting the past in the past, and now I’m just going to cherish every moment on the field. I’ll just be trying to take things slowly, taking it one play at a time.”
Coach Frankland believes that being a small school can be a disadvantage when it comes to the number of players that are available.
“With a smaller school, you don’t have a large group of Freshman and JV players to pick from. So the good players are going to play, doesn’t matter if they’re seniors or not. We’ll watch those players develop though. We know they have to take care of the classroom, and be able to assimilate with this team.”
The Exeter Monarchs will begin their season on Friday, August 26 vs. Lindsay High School. Game time at 7pm.