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Live from Sachem Football Training Camp: North

Posted Monday, August 16, 2010 by Sachempatch.com

Live from Sachem Football Training Camp: North

Another school year, another football season, which means the beginning of another training camp at Sachem North.

This year's camp has an added sense of urgency and aura of importance. It's similar to the feeling that swirled around Black & Gold Country in the '80s and '90s when the Flaming Arrows were winning at will.

Overcast shadowed down from the skies a top Fred Fusaro Alumni Stadium in Lake Ronkonkoma Monday morning. Not a rain storm or cloud in the world could stop Sachem's football faithful from having fun on the first day of camp.

With North grabbing a No. 1 seed in Division I pre-season polls and finishing last year 10-1, one game shy of the school's first bid to a Long Island championship game since 1995, there's no wonder why people are talking. The program is back.

"We're fired up," said senior Michael Andreassi, who will be a  major threat out of the back field this season. "On day one everyone had good intensity and is brining their A game. After last year getting Sachem back on the map, everyone wants to come out and play Sachem football. That's what we didn't have after the split and now that it's back, it's a good feeling." 

"The expectations here have definitely risen and that's something we've been trying to do," added North head coach Dave Falco. "That's not something we're going to shy away from. Our kids know we have a target on our back, but if we weren't good we wouldn't have a target on our back. We anticipate teams are going to come here and play their best and were going to play our best and see what happens."

Assistant coaches were already taking aggressive approaches in screaming phrases about looking and acting tough. Falco instructed players on being more efficient in the huddle and running to the line of scrimmage, all important when upholding to football standards at Sachem that have existed since the early 1970s.

Even with the No. 1 seed, players aren't getting too far ahead of themselves. It's only a number and it's only mid-August.

"We still have to work hard and know that everyone is going to be giving us their best game," senior Jesse Scanna said. "We have to work our hardest."

North, like the other schools in Suffolk, have two-a-day sessions from 7-10 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. this week before heading upstate for their off-Island camp in Fishkill August 22.

Inside X's and O's

We'll be breaking down plays and spending more time on position analysis throughout the season, but it's evident Sachem will continue to run the Flexbone Offense, which offers teams multiple looks and misdirection to advance the football up field. Its core is centered around the triple option play, but the Flexbone system allows offenses to spread the ball to four players at any time using misdirection, instead of the normal two who would get the ball in the I formation, which Sachem used since the early 1980's.

The Flexbone is also a derivative of the wishbone formation and features a quarterback under center with a fullback lined up directly behind that quarterback and two running backs – double slotbacks – lined up on each side of the offensive line. It's called the Flexbone, because former Air Force Academy head coach Fisher DeBerry once said his team needed, "to be more flexible in the bone."

Scanna to the rescue

During an exercise at the end of Monday's first camp session, players got in a push up position and raised their backsides in the air. They needed to remain in that position for five minutes – simply not an easy task. Arnel Cortez was fading out and barely touching the turf when Scanna propped himself underneath and supported both himself and Cortez for the final two minutes of the drill. Team work always wins.

2010 Schedule

  • Week 1: Friday, September 11th vs. Patchogue-Medford
  • Week 2: Thursday September 16th vs. Lindenhurst
  • Week 3: Saturday September 25th @ Brentwood
  • Week 4: Saturday October 2nd @ Connetquot
  • Week 5: Saturday October 9th @ Northport
  • Week 6: Friday October 15th vs. William Floyd
  • Week 7: Friday October 22nd vs. Longwood
  • Week 8: Saturday October 30th @ Bay Shore

Notes & Quotes

-Falco said five kids benched over 300 pounds, six kids squatted over 400 pounds and many kids run a 4.5 second or better time in the 40-yard dash in pre-season conditioning tests. There are no Albert Haynesworths in Sachem.

-Multiple assistant coaches this year have mentioned this team looks faster than last year's group, which ran for a school record 3,865 yards. It'll be interesting to see how they use their speed on both sides of the ball.

-New Sachem athletic director Pete Blieberg attended North's and East's training camp.

Things to look forward to this season

Sachem Patch will be covering Sachem sports unlike any other media out in the world. With exclusive access to every team, coach and player, Patch will strive to provide coverage of every angle from Sachem throughout the fall, winter and spring. Here's a look at what to expect:

  • Player blogs
  • An "Inside the Arrows" blog updated daily with pertinent info
  • A  live blog of the action at each Sachem Football home game
  • Profiles and features on all coaches
  • Game stories, photo galleries and video highlights
  • A coaches corner video show each week
  • Players of the week
  • All-Sachem Patch teams, as well as Sachem Patch Players of the Year
  • Historical analysis and breakdown
  • Plenty more, so stay tuned ...
  • Chris Vaccaro will also travel upstate next week to spend a day with North camp.

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