With the first practice scheduled for Monday, Aug. 6 at 7 a.m., the Bishop Broncos football squad will have just two weeks before facing off against Burroughs, on the road.
The Burroughs scrimmage is followed on Friday, Aug. 24 with a non-league rematch with Sierra Canyon. Bishop will have home field advantage and will need it. The Trailblazers handed Bishop its only loss prior to the playoffs in 2011, then went on to win the CIF Division 12 championship capping off a 15-0 season.
Prior to day one of practice, coach Bill Eganâs assessment of the 2012 Broncos was âa bunch of kids who donât know what theyâre doing.â But, that was his assessment of the High Desert League champion Broncos of 2011.
âEvery year, itâs a different group with its own personality,â said Egan. âThe kids have been working hard and itâll be exciting to watch the team develop.â
Returning players and JV newbies have been pumping iron through the summer.
âWeâve got some good returning starters,â said Egan. âRyan DeVore will be an exceptional running back and Kyle Batchelder (starting quarterback) is a good player and a good runner.â
Batchelder follows Chance Callahan as Bronco QB and has the advantage of stepping in for Callahan through the 2011 season. When Callahan was benched with a broken foot, Batchelder had to face the eventual Div. 13 championship Desert Christian in Bishopâs final playoff game. Batchelder is no stranger to pressure.
Egan is also looking to Curran Simpson, Nico Roccoforte, Chris Frohreich, Dan Klemencic, and Cam White, among others, to step up for Bishop.
According to Egan, Bishopâs line âcould be the best weâve ever had, if they work hard.â The line will be young, fast and athletic with decent size (coach speak for not all that big). But, as Egan pointed out âsize doesnât mean anything if they canât move,â and move is what Egan anticipates his line will do well.
Bishopâs pre-league opponents are tough, with the exception of the Mammoth Huskies, Sept. 7.
The Broncos host Desert Christian Sept. 14, then hit the road to play the Rim of the World Trailblazers, Sept. 21 and Bishopâs of La Jolla, Sept. 28.
As for the High Desert League opposition, who knows. âThereâs no telling,â said Egan. âItâs a fluid league.â
Rosamond and Frazier Mountain will have new coaches; Kern Valley is always good with strong continuity, according to Egan. California City has shown improvement each year and with the Desert Scorpions, âno telling,â said Egan.
By the time HDL starts, Oct. 5 with Bishop at home against Desert, Egan should have an idea of the opposition and his players will have a good idea of what theyâre doing.