The countdown to a new high school football season is on and for players and coaches it can't come soon enough. "It's just exciting the fact that we get to go hit somebody else other than ourselves," said 2nd year Shafter coach, Jerald Pierucci.
Another reason to be excited? the early 5:30 AM practices are finally over for the Generals. "I want to go to bed at 6:00," said senior running back Matthew Millee. "I feel like a grandpa or something."
For a team that picked up just 4 wins in 2016, Pierruci says the 2017 squad will turn some heads. "I think our team speed and athleticism is something that a lot of people won't necessarily correlate or put to Shafter," he said.
But what team's will associate; Pierucci's unique offensive schemes. Players says year two in his system has gotten "more complicated."
Pierruci says last year was mostly a "crash course" for his guys and this year has been able to install a lot more sets thanks in part to the trust he has in his quarterback Alex Aguilar who had to lead the offense last year as just a sophomore. "I was putting pressure on myself because I was young," the junior said. "I don't feel that type of pressure anymore."
While Pierucci takes pride in his system of offense, his kids finally taking a pride in their product. Over the summer the Shafter locker room got a fresh facelift with new paint, flooring and signs.
"It's no longer just an old room," Pierruci said. "Now it's an old room with a new look and they really seem to appreciate it."
The Generals will host Mira Monte in week one on August 25th.