On Saturday, March 13, the Wilcox Chargers football team informally scrimmaged against the Archbishop Mitty Monarchs. It was the first time the Chargers had been allowed to tackle opposing players since Nov. 23, 2019, just over 15-and-a-half months. Players were of course excited to take the field, but it wasn’t without some trepidation. Wilcox was originally slated to scrimmage with St. Francis, but the Lancers had a positive COVID-19 test and had to back out of the game.
“Felt great to be back out there,” said Wilcox senior Bryan Escorza. “Kind of a little bit nervous at first, but after the first play, I was ready to go.”
Escorza delivered one of the loudest hits of the scrimmage when he hammered a Monarch running back who was attempting to cut back into the middle of the field, right into Escorza’s line of attack.
“That hit felt great, it got the team going, we were pumped after that,” added the linebacker. “We kept pounding on defense and kept it going after that.”
Before Escorza’s big hit, the Chargers got off to a bit of a slow start, giving up a 65-yard touchdown run on the very first play from scrimmage. However, the Chargers would block the point after attempt and would score the next two touchdowns to take a 13-6 advantage. The first of which came on a 55-yard keeper up the middle by senior quarterback Jason Guerrero.
“It was a run play, I saw the defender crash down on the [running back] and so once I saw that I pulled it and the linemen did a great job, the running backs and receivers too,” remarked Guerrero on the long scamper to pay dirt. “The whole was really wide open.”
“Going into the scrimmage I felt a little nervous, but excited at the same time,” added Guerrero. “It’s been over a whole year without playing ball. I’m excited to have the chance to play once again.”
Even Chargers Head Coach Paul Rosa admitted to being a bit out of his normal comfort zone heading into the scrimmage, the first game with the new COVID-19 protocols.
“It was a little weird in the beginning just because you don’t really know what to expect with all the regulations and new rules for games,” remarked the Wilcox Head Honcho. “But once we got into the flow of the game it seemed pretty normal.”
What isn’t normal for the Chargers is prognosticators picking the Chargers to finish fourth in their De Anza Division. Wilcox graduated a large number of key players from last year’s team, but they haven’t lost a league game in three years. The players are definitely using that information as bulletin board material.
“We definitely use that as motivation,” acknowledged Guerrero. “We still believe we’re as good as we were last year.”
Wilcox will host Palo Alto Friday night to kick off the first of a five-game league season.