Cascade Bruins senior tight end Steven Gallardo hasn’t won a varsity football game in his high-school career. In fact, the Bruins have lost 24 consecutive games and many members, like Gallardo, don’t know what it feels like to win a high-school game.
Bruins first-year head coach Joe Cronin believes that is going to change this season — and he has his team believing it too.
Cascade kicked off the 2012 season on Wednesday with its first practice and despite the lack of wins in recent years, the morale was high.
“I thought it was a great first day of practice,” Gallardo said. “As a team I think it went great, good tempo and you couldn’t ask for a better first day.”
Vote here for who you think will win the Wesco South 4A this year
In order for the Bruins to find their first win in more than two seasons, something has to change and Cronin is putting his emphasis on being accountable on and off the field and conditioning. The first order of business at practice had a little to do with both. The team began practice with conditioning because some of the players hadn’t turned in the proper paperwork to be eligible. Cronin is quick to point out to his team that they are a family and everybody has to be on the same page.
Cronin said rules will continue to be enforced just as they were the first day of practice or the team can count on more running.
Aside from a little bit of discipline, Cronin was quick to point out that the practice seemed to go off without a hitch.
“These kids have want to,” Cronin said. “They are super coachable and they work their butt off. And they help each other in the same process.
“That brotherhood that we have kind of laid the foundation for is going to be pay huge dividends later on with these guys.”
Nowhere was it more evident how the players help each other than watching the conditioning drills.
“We all push each other,” Gallardo said. “We’ve got some slower guys that aren’t as conditioned and they are coming in last after the conditioning and there is not one person on the sideline that was silent, they are all cheering each other on.”
It isn’t just the faces of the coaching staff that have changed, junior lineman Randin Crecelius said the players have changed too.
“It’s a whole different atmosphere,” he said. “We have people that want to work and want to get that next win and it’s just a way faster pace.”