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Grizzlies learn about strengths, weaknesses at grid camp

ELLENSBURG - While summer camp didn't provide the whole picture of what this fall's Sunnyside High School football team will look like, it did give coaches an idea of what to expect.

Grizzly head grid coach Mark Marro and his staff took 45 players to football camp at Central Washington University recently, including 10 freshmen.

"They did real well," said Marro of the group that went to camp. "I was really pleased with them."

The Grizzlies fielded a varsity and junior varsity team at the camp.

Marro said his varsity group at camp was young, fielding three or four 14 and 15-year-old players.

"We did well," said Marro of the varsity group. "We are learning quite a bit."

The Grizzlies scrimmaged against several teams, including Montesano, Timberline and Eisenhower.

"We played some pretty quality schools," said Marro.

Vying for the quarterback spot this year will be Jaime Sambrano and Adrian Cantu.

"They are battling," said Marro. "They both throw the ball really well."

Both of them showed some talent at the camp, added Marro.

Marro said one thing about this year's team is that the Grizzlies will be deep at the quarterback position. Marro is expecting to carry five to six quarterbacks this year, three of whom will be freshmen. One of the three freshman quarterbacks went to camp, added Marro.

The running game could be rather strong this season, said Marro. Michael Graham, B.J. Miller and Joseph Villanueva appear to have the inside track there. Villanueva enters his sophomore season fresh off a quality season in the backfield on a freshman squad that dropped only two games last year (both of which were to Prosser). Marro said his team was able to run the ball well at camp.

Senior Brandon Coleman is expected to be the No. 1 receiver for the Grizzlies this year.

"He caught the ball real well (at camp)," said Marro.

One player whom Marro is expecting a lot out of this year is sophomore Jordan James, at tight end.

Marro is also anticipating that Sunnyside will benefit from the services of Prosser transfer Eric Garza.

Where the Grizzlies struggled at camp was on the defensive side. But, not all of the regular starters were able to attend camp. Starting linebacker Kyle Tyler was in Europe and couldn't make camp.

"We were missing a lot of our linebackers," said Marro.

Marro said the trouble the Grizzlies had at camp on defense had more to do with assignments, as people were playing in spots they weren't accustomed.

Sunnyside's defense looked better against the pass at camp, said Marro.

The Grizzlies started a new program this summer where the players have committed to hitting the weight room for summer conditioning. Players who don't adhere to the summer workout regimen will not be allowed to play in the first game of the season.

The first day of practice for this fall's Sunnyside football team will be Aug. 17.

The Grizzlies kick off their 2005 season at home on Sept. 2 against Grandview.

"That is a great rivalry," said Marro. "Last year it was a great high school game."

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