Jeff Schiller was about to give instructions on the final drill of the night.
However, he was so excited about what transpired in the previous two hours that he had to comment.
“I love the enthusiasm and I love the hitting,” the San Mateo High School football coach told the players from both San Mateo and Half Moon Bay at the end of a training session one night last week.
The two teams, who will not play each other this year, spent two hours a day, every day last week, holding a football camp and wearing the pads. Other teams in the Peninsula Athletic League hold the same type of camp during the course of the summer. It’s the first time Half Moon Bay and San Mateo engaged in a joint training session. Players on both sides are thrilled with the camp and the results.
“Hopefully, we will take what we learn here toward our seasons,” said San Mateo’s Larry Campbell. “We are getting a lot of experience here.”
That is the goal. High school teams can do anything they want in the form of preparation for the coming season from the second Saturday in June until July 31. All is mostly quiet until Aug. 10 when practice for fall sports teams can begin. Practice for winter and spring teams start later in the school year.
Prior to last week, the San Mateo and Half Moon Bay teams spent the summer going to passing leagues and holding their own practices and chalk talks. Last week was a chance to see what they learned and get the mistakes out of the way.
“It’s good to practice against different people,” said Cesar Garcia of Half Moon Bay. “We get a lot of different looks.”
San Mateo reached out to Half Moon Bay in late March about the camp. That was the time when former Half Moon Bay coach Matt Ballard was deciding about taking a coaching job with Redondo Union, which he decided to do. New Half Moon Bay coach Keith Holden still wanted to hold the camp.
Once Ballard made the decision to leave, Holden and Schiller met a few times to plan out the camp. The result was last week’s camp, one of the final events of summer.
“I’d rather work the kinks out now than after we play Homestead,” Holden said, referring to Half Moon Bay’s first game of the season on Aug. 31.