If there’s one mark first-year Dixon High football coach Wes Besseghini wants to leave on opponents this season, it’s that his young team can hit.
The former Rams defensive coordinator and junior varsity coach enters into his fifth year in the Dixon High football program at the helm and gunning for the 2011 Golden Empire League title.
“We want to go out there and hit them,” Besseghini said. “We want to make sure that either when we go to their house or they come to Dixon, they leave that game knowing they were in a fight the whole time and they aren’t going to leave in better shape than they got there in.”
With just 10 returning players from last year’s 4-7 (4-1 GEL) squad, and 17 players moving up from JV, Besseghini sees the challenge of bringing them up to a higher level, but won’t use the youth movement as an excuse should things not go his way.
“I will never blame that as an excuse,” he said. “This is a young but very talented team, and I expect big things for them.”
Besseghini will waste no time throwing them into the fire, as the Rams will play high-caliber California Interscholastic Federation schools in non-league play.
Dixon will start the season at Foothill of Palo Cedro (Redding), who lost to Paradise in the 2010 CIF Northern Section Division I final 29-7 and defeated the Rams in Dixon last year 34-6. The home opener will feature Patterson – a 2010 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semi-finalist – on Sept. 9.
The ultimate challenge will be Sept. 23 meeting with Escalon, who handed the a Rams 45-3 home defeat early last year, and later went on to win the 2010 SJS D-IV championship and the Division III state title.
Besseghini said that his team’s non-conference schedule is arguably one of the toughest of any school in the GEL.
“We have a pretty tough preseason, but our goal is the league championship,” he said.
Besseghini plans to revamp the offense from a spread to pro set, going for short gains rather than big play possibilities of the spread which the Rams have run for the past three years.
“I want to be a team that prides ourselves on controlling the line of scrimmage and being physical in everything we do,” he said. “We want three yards every play, and we’re willing to chip away that way, where as the spread offense we felt like was a big play offense.”
Senior Marcos Pangelinan will be the Rams starting quarterback for the second straight year. According to statistics compiled from maxpreps.com, Pangelinan threw for 360 yards in seven games and rushed for 509 in eight while running the spread offense.
Though he has an experienced arm under center, Besseghini expects his team to have more than one player push the team.
“We’re going to be a team that relies on different players to get things done for us,” he said.
Though Besseghini expects more than one playmaker to standout each game, the objective each week won’t change.
“We’re going into every game thinking we can win and expecting we can win,” he said.
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