There were no thigh pads, shoulder pads or facemasks at Hart High on Wednesday afternoon.
Few players got knocked to the ground.
Still, the practice between Hart and Crescenta Valley High of La Crescenta looked more like a real game than people are accustomed to seeing outside of Friday nights in the fall.
That’s because it was 11-on-11 rather than the 7-on-7 passing competitions that are staples of June and July.
The full-squad, two-hand-touch exercise, relatively new to the Santa Clarita Valley, gives coaches an opportunity to involve their linemen and to present quarterbacks with more realistic pressure, but it also has the potential to get testy should a rowdy team be involved.
That’s the balance coaches must walk, and they say the key is knowing and trusting the opposing coaching staff.
“I wouldn’t have any issues doing it with some teams now,” said Saugus coach Jason Bornn, “but again, it would have to be the right team and the right coaching staffs. If you’re not careful with this, you could end up playing a team that doesn’t quite see it the same way you see it (and guys can) get hurt.”
Saugus held 11-on-11 practices three years ago, but its summer schedule hasn’t…
click here to read more.