El Molino football

Posted by: Press Democrat Staff Writer Rich Rupprecht

Mike Roan, El Molino head football coach, vacationed in northern Michigan this summer and talked to some high school coaches who mentioned that the sport is so big in Wisconsin that kids practice in pads there much of the summer.

He said there are almost more restrictions for college ball than high school ball in the area.

Roan, like most of the coaches in the Redwood Empire, doesn’t have his players practice in pads, except for a three-day camp at Cal in June.

“It’s a good way to finish off spring ball,” Roan said.

El Molino is taking part in the passing league at SRJC and the players have lifted weights and conditioned throughout the summer.

Roan said part of the issue with contact drills is the chance of injuries, and the Lions, like many of the smaller “large” schools can’t afford to lose players, particularly before the season starts.

Roan is hoping for big things from junior QB Mike Pierson, who showed a strong arm last year when healthy. T. J. Monticello and Max Graham should lead the defense from  inside linebacker spots. Pierson should be throwing a lot of wide out Joe Douglass.

El Molino is a Division III school, along with Sonoma, Analy and Healdsburg in the SCL.

Roan has reflected that in the Lions’ preseason schedule which begins with a home game during week “zero”, Sept. 4 against Div. IV Berean Christian of Walnut Creek. El Molino will also play at Fortuna, then play at Elsie Allen on the Lobos’ new artificial surface field and at Piner.

Roan said his team lost a good portion to graduation and may struggle early. “They had a little tough go of it at Cal,” said Roan, who is hopping for a smooth transition from JV ball for many of his players.

El Molino snapped a long SCL losing streak with a win against West County rival Analy last year. Roan said he tells his players that if they can repeat the effort and intensity they had in that game, good things would happen.