Several Los Banos-area teams got their first taste of action this week in a series of scrimmages on the field and on the court.
In Newman, Pacheco's football team participated in a round-robin scrimmage with Orestimba, Delhi and Ripon Christian. Each team's offense had the ball for 15 minutes, giving plenty of time for hits and big plays.
Pacheco's improved defense held fast in the first scrimmage against Delhi's double wing, allowing one touchdown on a quarterback sneak. Pacheco scored three times in its offensive segment, twice on the ground.
Ripon Christian's passing attack gave the Panthers a tougher time, with three RC touchdowns reaching through the air. Pacheco responded with two rushing touchdowns and a scoring pass from about 30 yards out from Jacob Parks to Jonathan Sommerfeld on the last play of the scrimmage.
After that, RC and Delhi cleared out, leaving Pacheco and Orestimba as the marquee matchup.
Meanwhile, Los Banos High traveled to Oakdale for its scrimmage. The Mustangs are ranked No. 1 in Division II in Northern California by Cal-Hi Sports.
"We wanted to challenge our guys," Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. "That's why we're playing Escalon, Manteca and Dos Palos. That's the philosophy."
The results were a bit surprising. LB's offense, which returns nine starters, struggled to move the ball, while the inexperienced defense impressed the staff.
"We didn't have as much success as we thought we were going to have," Caropreso said. "Having nine returners on offense, we were looking to do a little more than we did. But watching the film, it was just one or two guys missing their assignments, and that's something that's fixable."
The defense made a few stops -- including a Keith Turner interception on the goal line.
"I wanted to see us react a little better, but there was some good stuff," Caropreso said. "Our defense did a heck of a job, being a younger group, of flying to the football. It was good to see us playing someone other than us."
Los Banos opens tonight against Escalon, while Pacheco hosts Selma on Saturday.
On Wednesday, both LB and Pacheco's volleyball teams got their first action in the Merced College Spike-off.
Pacheco hits the Orestimba Tournament on Saturday, while Los Banos travels to Golden Valley in Merced on Monday.