They are doing it now — in every sense of the word — during their summer practice session. Whether they are going toe-to-toe in offensive and defensive scrimmages or battling for a starting job, these Rams are eating, sleeping and breathing competition.
“No one has a spot so to speak,” coach Spencer Gilford said. “It’s up to them to compete and for our new guys to compete for those same spots and compete for playing time. … The more we compete, the better we’re going to be. These guys already understand that and they’re coming in to compete now, not waiting.”
While no one position is guaranteed, Gilford said he is still excited about some key positions. The Rams offensive line, for example, is made up entirely of sophomores, meaning there is a wealth of experience on that side of the ball.
Gavilan will also see the return of its All Region running and all-purpose back Jakari Johnson. Johnson will be joined by newcomer Miguel Redmond from Sobrato delivering a one-two offensive punch for the Rams.
Defensive lineman William Lee will also be returning this fall. The Rams lack experience on that side of the ball and will look to the All Region D-lineman to step up as a leader.
“We’ll have a lot of newcomers on defense this year,” Gilford said. “He’s (Lee) a big part of our defense when we come back this season.”
Incoming freshmen aren’t the only new faces on the Rams staff this season. The coaching staff has added a new offensive coordinator, Mark Mejia, and new linebacker coach, Rowen Tupuivao, to its crew. Both coaches have experience coaching at the junior college and four year college levels. Mejia comes to Gavilan from Fayetteville State University, a Division II school in North Carolina, while Tupuivao comes from Hawthrone High School in Hawthorne, Calif.
Gilford is hoping that these additions, as well as instilling a competitive attitude into his players, will bring a championship caliber team back to Gilroy.
“We have to improve in every aspect of what we do,” Gilford said. “They weren’t getting it done the way they used to be getting it done. The old coach was let go and I interviewed for the position and that’s why I’m here. (I’m here) to bring it back to that winning tradition that Gavilan College football has had from the 70s, 80s and 90s.”