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Published August 23rd, 2017
Football season opens this week
Acalanes at practice Photos Gint Federas

With the dog days of summer, a young man's fancy turns to ... football?
That is exactly what has been going on since preseason practice got into full swing for Acalanes, Campolindo and Miramonte high schools. Besides an optimistic attitude from each of the head coaches, they all say they wish they could have been able to begin their preseason practice earlier.
Acalanes will be traveling to Orlando, Florida to play their second game of the season on Sept. 2 against Suncoast High School. Head Coach Floyd Burnsed, though excited about the trip, sees this as a real challenge because "Suncoast has been practicing long before we started and they have already been able to scrimmage another team. The only advantage to us is that I was able to watch a number of their plays off the internet."
With the players familiar with his system, Burnsed expects the offense to be far more efficient this season. Senior quarterback Robbie Rowell, who has been getting inquiries from some Division I schools, is being counted on to lead the Dons' spread offense, which is returning most of its starters from last season.
The front seven for the Acalanes defense returns many starters, but the secondary is a real concern, since losing a number of players through graduation.
According to Burnsed, "We have a chance to be good but we have a very difficult schedule with every team being a potential playoff team."
Burnsed is positive about his starting lineup but "the key is for us to stay healthy at this point. We do not have a lot of depth on the team."
Coming off a successful 2016 season, Campolindo High School is in something of a rebuilding stage.
The key player on offense and defense for head coach Kevin Macy is, strangely enough, the same player. John Torchio, the Cougars' best athlete, started last season as the team's free safety and wide receiver. Macy has named Torchio his quarterback and will continue to have him start as free safety. "It will be a real challenge for John," Macy said. "He did play quarterback as a freshman but was a wide receiver the next two seasons."
The limited preseason preparation is also a telling issue for Macy. With a new quarterback, it takes time for him and his receivers to learn to "synch up with each other." The players were able to participate in the 7-on-7 passing league during the summer. Torchio's key receiver this season should be Vince Mossotti.
Macy will be utilizing a spread offense with multiple formations and is hoping for a balance between his passing and running game.
The real concern for Campolindo will be on defense, having lost a number of starters through graduation, though many of the potential starters did play a fair amount as backups last season. Macy is relying on linebacker Grant Larsen and defensive end Justin Ehrenberg to provide stability and leadership for this young unit.
Miramonte head coach Jack Schram is faced with replacing his best player from last season: quarterback Tim Tague. Two players have been competing for the starting QB position, Xavier Clark and A.J. Frazier. Clarke is the anticipated starter as he is more familiar with Miramonte's spread offense.
Schram has eight returning starters on both sides of the ball and is counting on his offense to remain as productive as it was last season. He is looking for "much improvement on defense." He will be relying on senior middle linebacker Sam Walker to provide the leadership for the team's defense.
Schram is also concerned about the limited time for preseason preparation. Starting with his first practice, he said, "Our first game is less than three weeks away."
Acalanes will open its season at home on Aug. 25 against Alhambra High School, while Campolindo opens its season on the road on Aug. 26 at Marin Catholic High School and Miramonte will host Vanden High School out of Fairfield on Aug. 25.

Campolindo at practice
Miramonte at practice

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