Fort Vancouver Football Camp
Fort Vancouver Trappers
Coach Cal Szueber
A team full of leaders:
“Best leadership I’ve had in my four years here,” coach Cal Szueber answered when asked to describe the 2010 squad.
It started soon after the 2009 season came to an end, and it continued in the summer.
“At our football camp in Gold Beach (Ore.), I met personally with all the seniors on the team. They made a commitment that they were going to work harder than anybody else,” Szueber said. “People are leaner. They’re looking good. Just a different look this year. This is a special group.”
Offensive lineman and linebacker Stockton Pendergast, for example, lost 30 pounds.
“So I could be faster and I can pull and cause some damage on the second and third level on offense, and to get to the ball quicker on defense,” he explained.
Second and third level means blocking more than one opponent on a play. Pendergast hopes to block his primary assignment, then hustle to find a linebacker and then a defensive back to knock down.
“I worked out five times a week and cleaned up my diet,” Pendergast said. “I should have done it a lot sooner.
He only had about a minute to talk before he had to get back on the drill. After all, if he is going to be a leader, he has to be out there with his teammates. His teammates helped inspire him to lose the weight.
“I did it for everybody, my team and myself,” Pendergast said. “I’d like to win this year.”
Then he modified that last statement:
“We’re going to win this year.”
These linemen know what they’re doing:
Not hard to find the strength of this team. Four offensive lineman — Vutha Chen, Patrick Crawford, Flynn Crawford, and Stockton Pendergast — are entering their third season as starters.
“If you look at the great offenses throughout the years of football, it all starts with the offensive line,” Pendergast said. “If your offensive line is successful, you can do whatever you want. If you can open up holes the size of a truck, anyone can go through that.”
Heck, Cal Szueber would be satisfied with a hole big enough for a mid-size sedan.
“We think we’re going to be pretty good,” Szueber said.
It seems so long ago:
Flynn Crawford is one of those linemen entering his third season as a starter. Flynn Crawford also happens to be a junior this season. Yeah, he was a freshman, starting on the line for the varsity.
“Freshman year was definintely tough,” he recalled. “The game is so much faster. Everybody’s stronger. I was getting really beat up when I was a freshman.
Things changed a bit last year.
“I got the job done,” he said.
Now, he wants more.
“This year, I want to do a lot better. I feel a lot stronger,” he said.
The Trappers have seemed cursed in recent seasons in regard to season-ending injuries either during camp or in games at the beginning of the season. The program does not have a lot of depth to begin with.
Coach Szueber is pleased to report that so far, everybody’s healthy.
“We’ve never been deep, so we better show up healthy,” Szueber said. “If we stay healthy, we can compete.”