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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 Eganâ€™s assessment of the 2012 Broncos was â€śa bunch of kids who donâ€™t know what theyâ€™re doing.â€ť But, that was his assessment of the High Desert League champion Broncos of 2011.
â€śEvery year, itâ€™s a different group with its own personality,â€ť said Egan. â€śThe kids have been working hard and itâ€™ll be exciting to watch the team develop.â€ť
Returning players and JV newbies have been pumping iron through the summer.
â€śWeâ€™ve got some good returning starters,â€ť said Egan. â€śRyan DeVore will be an exceptional running back and Kyle Batchelder (starting quarterback) is a good player and a good runner.â€ť
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 Bishopâ€™s 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, Bishopâ€™s line â€ścould be the best weâ€™ve ever had, if they work hard.â€ť The line will be young, fast and athletic with decent size (coach speak for not all that big). But, as Egan pointed out â€śsize doesnâ€™t mean anything if they canâ€™t move,â€ť and move is what Egan anticipates his line will do well.
Bishopâ€™s 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 Bishopâ€™s of La Jolla, Sept. 28.
As for the High Desert League opposition, who knows. â€śThereâ€™s no telling,â€ť said Egan. â€śItâ€™s a fluid league.â€ť
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, â€śno telling,â€ť 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 theyâ€™re doing.