The storm before the calm

Hillmen sharpen their skills in passing league before ‘dead period’ is imposed
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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There were no shoulder pads thumping or helmets cracking on the Placer High football team’s practice field Wednesday afternoon. But with their opening game just over six weeks away, the Hillmen were brimming with intensity. It was the second-to-last football related activity Placer will conduct until Aug. 8. The Sac-Joaquin Section’s “dead period” kicks in on Monday, meaning teams cannot conduct football-related drills until the first day of practice. The Hillmen will practice today before holding a fundraiser barbecue tonight. Placer took on Sutter in a seven-on-seven passing scrimmage Wednesday with the Hillmen showing off a plethora of new weapons. Junior quarterback Peter Denham hooked up early and often with newcomer Anthony Hess, who transferred last spring from Burroughs High in Ridgecrest. Senior QB Jake Callahan also threw the ball well and he had plenty of speedy targets all over the field. Receivers David Daniel and Isaiah Pineiro were sharp along with backs Joe Mangino, Brad Spangler and Mike Robinson. Towering tight ends Brian Berube and Stone Sander each had a handful of impressive moments. Juniors Tyler Lipsmeyer and Isaac Brahce sat out the scrimmage with minor injuries. Coach Joey Montoya said he’s excited about the season ahead with his young squad. “The thing I like is the amount of strides we’ve taken,” Montoya said. “It’s been fun to watch us improve. We have kids with great character who love to compete. It makes it a lot of fun for the coaches to work with this group because they want to get better.” Placer opens the season Sept. 2 against Brookside Christian, which played in the CIF’s Small-School Bowl Game last season. The game will be played at 6:30 p.m. at Grant as part of the California Football Showcase.