Sky-high expectations

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By Nicole Alvarez

By Nicole Alvarez

With football season right around the corner the Tigers have to prepare for their quest: conference champions.

Bill Brown has been the assistant coach for 15 years and the head coach for three years at Riverside Community College.

“What keeps me here is the administration. They are very supportive,” said Brown. “And the fact that we have exciting facilities doesn’t hurt.” This team has been preparing for next season since December of last year. They have been lifting weights and running on their own to better themselves individually. They had a chance to come together for 20 days during spring practice with guidance from the coaches. And now it’s back to preparing hard before they can practice as a team again for the summer.

The football program has just started mini-camps for the high school students interested in playing college ball. The numbers are up to 75 high school seniors.

“The best part about this upcoming season is our returning group gets along, works hard, is dependable and has some good talent; mix in a few rookies and we will be playing for the conference championship,” Brown said.

Anthony Smith is a receiver and is coming back from an injury from last season. He is excited about the new football field (as everyone is) and thinks it will “be to our advantage.”

“This season, we need to work hard and continue what we are doing. That will lead us to the top,” Smith said.

Andre Saulsberry likes the colors of the new field, the Tiger in the middle, and the end zone.

“If we play our ‘A’ game, no one will be a challenge because coach Brown is trying his hardest to push us to work hard and run to prepare for the season,” Saulsberry said.

“The game I am looking most forward to is Long Beach because they were talking smack all season last year and now is the time to show them who’s the boss,” Saulsberry said.

This season is going to be Jermaine Pate’s first year playing football after taking a few years off after graduating high school.

“I have a lot of history in RCC football from family members that have played,” Pate said.

His admits that he needs to improve on his routes on the field. He needs to “cut instead of rounding” which he’s working on with the coaches.”Jamie Daniels and Brian Pate are big influences to me because they work hard which always betters your game,” Pate said.

Duke Delao and DeAntonie Bass also are looking forward playing on the new field. Delao plays offensive tackle.

“It’s not as dirty so we can stay clean. It’s just makes me feel comfortable on the field,” Delao said.

“Turf increases speed and has good traction, and it also looks nice,” Bass said.

Bass plays defensive back and knows the team works hard. Everyone is “getting to the same level” which could make this a championship season.

“I am looking forward to playing Pasadena this season because I got kicked out of the game last year,” Bass said.

Coach Brown is optimistic this season. He is focusing on playing for the championship of the conference, and then the playoffs for state.

“In the Mission Conference there are no bad teams. It’s a shuffle. We have to look forward to each game or you could overlook someone,” Brown said.

“Last year Saddleback had great receivers and a great quarterback, the year before it was Long Beach who stood out. So now it’s our turn,” Brown said.

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