Five things observed in Matthew C. Perry football camp
Another in a series of looks at football camps around the Pacific.
Five things learned from Monday’s visit to Matthew C. Perry football camp:
-- The program’s been up on blocks since the end of the 2003 season, but Samurai football is returning to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni on the varsity level starting Sept. 13, when Perry travels to Zama to play Robert D. Edgren. The first home game at Iwakuni in 11 years is Sept. 27, when the Samurai host Sotoku, a Japanese school out of Hiroshima and a regular Perry opponent.
-- Perry played a non-varsity schedule the last two seasons; they couldn’t call it a JV program, because under NFHS and DODDS guidelines, seniors can’t play JV ball. The varsity program resumes 11 years after its initial eight-year run from 1996-2003, half as a youth program in which it went 16-12, including a Japan-best 7-1 in 1999. The last four years, the Samurai went 7-20 as a high school program.
-- Frank Macias has helmed the Samurai through its first two non-varsity seasons, and says he’s gotten the best support from the community in the run-up to this season, with eight assistant coaches, the most he’s had. That’s in addition to 20 returning players, 14 of them starters.
-- Significant camp battles figure to be in the backfield, where Macias has Caeleb Ricafrente and Jason DeGrace vying for the tailback spot, newcomer Zack Brown and incumbent Jarell Davis for fullback and Mick Carreiro and Macias’ freshman son, Garrett, for quarterback.
-- But the Samurai are thin, two or three injuries away from being in serious trouble, Macias said. None of his 36 have played one down of varsity football.