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Caption: Senior center Tyler Maxwell runs through blocking drills while coach John Hamro looks on. Photo by Steve Breazeale
Caption: Senior center Tyler Maxwell runs through blocking drills while coach John Hamro looks on. Photo by Steve Breazeale

By Steve Breazeale

Tritons Show off Depth with Program-Wide Practice

For the first, and perhaps last, time this year, the entire San Clemente football program took to the field on July 29 to participate in an all-team practice. Incoming freshman, not even four months out of middle school, stood alongside established juniors and seniors as they ran through drills for the better part of two hours.

San Clemente head coach Jaime Ortiz estimated that there were around 170 players out on the field.

Since he took over as head coach last season, Ortiz has been attempting to bridge the gap between the lower levels of the football program up to the varsity level, and full program practices like the one they had on Monday help accomplish that. Freshmen get to run the same drills and watch how the varsity players work out.

“It gives us an opportunity to kind of evaluate the freshman. They’re the future of the program and you want to have a good idea of who they are and what they can bring to the table,” Ortiz said.

Tritons Football Trains with Jiu-Jitsu Team, Gracie Barra

San Clemente football players grapple during a Gracie Barra training session. Courtesy photo
San Clemente football players grapple during a Gracie Barra training session. Courtesy photo

When the San Clemente football team showed up for what was supposed to be their Friday morning weight lifting session on July 26, head coach Jaime Ortiz had a surprise waiting for them.

Instead of weights and dumbbells the Tritons walked into the room and found the San Clemente Gracie Barra team, who were about to put the athletes through a different kind of workout.

The Tritons spent the morning training with Gracie Barra instructors, led by Felipe Guedes of Gracie Barra San Clemente, who taught them a variety of moves in an attempt to link the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with high school football.

The entire varsity team took part in the exercise, which saw several of the Tritons players step toe-to-toe with black belts. One player who tested his skills against the experts was senior center Tyler Maxwell, who is also a part of the Tritons wrestling team.

“That was a lot of fun. I wrestle so going in there and doing those things brought back a lot of wrestling memories,” Maxwell said. “I learned that it’s a lot tougher when you can’t pin a guy. You try to put them in a wrestling submission and they put you in a choke hold, it was crazy.”

Maxwell described how the Gracie Barra instructors stressed the importance of teamwork and taught them a few close quarter situational moves that, for linemen, could prove useful on the gridiron.

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