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 Egan’s assessment of the 2012 Broncos was “a bunch of kids who don’t know what they’re doing.” But, that was his assessment of the High Desert League champion Broncos of 2011.
“Every year, it’s a different group with its own personality,” said Egan. “The kids have been working hard and it’ll be exciting to watch the team develop.”
Returning players and JV newbies have been pumping iron through the summer.
“We’ve got some good returning starters,” said Egan. “Ryan DeVore will be an exceptional running back and Kyle Batchelder (starting quarterback) is a good player and a good runner.”
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 Bishop’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, Bishop’s line “could be the best we’ve ever had, if they work hard.” The line will be young, fast and athletic with decent size (coach speak for not all that big). But, as Egan pointed out “size doesn’t mean anything if they can’t move,” and move is what Egan anticipates his line will do well.
Bishop’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 Bishop’s of La Jolla, Sept. 28.
As for the High Desert League opposition, who knows. “There’s no telling,” said Egan. “It’s a fluid league.”
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, “no telling,” 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 they’re doing.