New Spartans football coach James Sims looks to film in offseason

Football: La Cañada's new coach hopes film study leads to victories for this upcoming season.

July 18, 2012|By Andrew Shortall,
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

While James Sims has never seen any of the 10 opponents on the La Cañada High football team's schedule this year, the Spartans' new coach won't go into any contest blindly this season.

That's because Sims, who coached in Florida before making the move to La Cañada this summer, has been studying La Cañada's opposition by reviewing last year's game film.

"That was my focus," said Sims, who inherited this year's schedule from previous coach Dan Yoder, who stepped down in December. "I have seen a lot of the opponents and I am already starting to prepare. I know how I want to defend and attack them."

La Cañada's nonleague schedule is nearly identical to last seasons with the lone new face being Eagle Rock, which was scheduled to replace Maranatha after the Minutemen defeated the Spartans, 41-10, at home in 2011.

"We haven't seen [Eagle Rock] on film, but there is a big difference between playing Maranatha and Eagle Rock so that took some pressure off," said Sims, whose team will host the Eagles, who haven't played La Cañada since 2007, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.


For the third year in a row, the Spartans open the season against Alhambra — this year at home on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. — and will look to defend their home turf once again when Glendale visits on Sept. 7.

"Those first two games are very important for us," said Sims, whose Spartans didn't have a home game until the third week last year and fell to the Moors, 34-14, and defeated the Nitros, 16-14. "I would like to come out of the gate with a victory so we have a sense of pride playing at home."

La Cañada will hit the road Sept. 14 to face cross-town rival Crescenta Valley before it closes out its nonleague schedule at Arroyo Sept. 28.

Sims said La Cañada's nonleague schedule will be challenging, something he always wants as a coach.

"Tough scheduling prepares you for the playoffs," said Sims, whose Spartans were handily defeated by the Falcons, 35-14, and just edged by Arroyo, 23-21, last season. "Sometimes you have to be careful because you can make it so tough that it demoralizes the team. It's all about finding that perfect balance."

La Cañada will hope to have gathered some momentum heading into Rio Hondo League play, as the Spartans will be tested by all three of the league's playoff teams from last year right out the gate.

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles