The Summerville Bears Football team is gearing up for the 2017 season opener against Denair High School at home tonight with a growling, guiding principle in mind, the philosophy of “13 Strong.”

Coach Sean Leveroos explained that 13 Strong philosophy represented strong play from all 13 of the team’s individual units within the team, from the offensive line, defensive line, tight ends, quarterbacks, cornerbacks, kickoff team, and etc.

“When we compare ourselves to the opponent, football basically becomes a one-on-one battle or a unit-on-unit battle. We want our 13 to be stronger than their 13,” he said. “We want our subsets to execute better than their subsets do.”

Coming off a rigorous offseason set with character-building and exercise obligations, Leveroos said the squad would be ready to face the adversity of a tough fight against a team that has been Summerville’s season opener for around nine years running.

“Everything is exciting about a first game. It is your first chance to see the kind of character your team has,” he said. “You get to see how your boys like the challenge.”

Out on the field, Leveroos added, the overarching goal remained the same: win the line of scrimmage. Another team goal to assist in victory was a “plus two” turnover ratio with the opponent, or retrieve the ball on a turnover at least two times more than Denair might take the ball from them.

“Just win the turnover battle,” he said.

In order to have a successful night the Bears will have to adjust to their tempo and the linebacker unit will lead the team in tackles, he said.
“They play with an amazingly fast tempo and we want to see if we can match it on the defensive side,” he said.

For special teams, Leveroos said he had faith that players within their specific units would fulfill their roles with grit and determination.

“As a coach you always hope special teams is not the reason you lose a game. You want them to be the reason you win a game,” he said.

Leveroos said that Hunter Kronholm, a senior wide receiver and cornerback; McCormick Banks, a senior, TE/DE; Cameron Molin, a senior, OL/DL; Dominic Esquivel, a senior, RB/S; and Cameron Trail, a junior, OL/DL, would all be players coming off a successful and efficient offseason to watch on the field.

A five-team, full-pad scrimmage session held at Orestimba High School in Newman a week ago was a good learning opportunity for the team leading into the game, he said, and contributed valuable film for the team to study.

“The first goal was to get away from there healthy and that's exactly what we got,” he said.

The Bears were ready to play their roles and win within their units, he said, and are looking forward to the upcoming game.

“This is a very good team that is always going to present itself, especially early in the season,” Leveroos said.

The Summerville High School Bears will face off against the Denair High School Coyotes Friday night at 7 p.m. at home.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.