Richard Poutier probably had the most varied experience during the three-week, so called dead period for high school football players, which officially ended Monday, but even he did what the other Chargers players made sure to do. That was to stay in shape.
Otherwise, running "goalposts" would be even harder.
"I don't eat before goalposts," Poutier said. "Because I'll barf."
Goalposts, wherein the Chargers players run from one goalpost to the other and back again, take place at 7 a.m. on most days during the current phase of training camp, during which utilizing two practices per day is still in vogue.
The players do 10 sets of the runs for a total of 20 sprints of 120 yards. They are expected to do one run (240 yards) in 43 seconds.
"Yeah, you'd probably throw up if you ate too much before running goalposts," said Tristram Gillette, a senior center/linebacker.
And so, during the dead period, Poutier, a senior quarterback, visited his uncle in Washington D.C. and also went to Hawaii, but he made sure he stayed in shape.
"It was a mixture of a nice vacation, but you've also got to be aware that football is right here," said Poutier, who also went to a football camp at Georgetown University while in the nation's capital. "So you've got to be ready for (Agoura's training) camp."
Sean Kagan, a senior wide receiver/defensive back, ran on the beach with his mom and never lost focus of the goal of beating Oak Park in the Aug. 24 season opener for both teams. In order to keep that goal in sight, the three weeks couldn't be just a vacation.
"Everybody came here in shape," Kagan said. He noted that there was time to relax and also time for players with nagging injuries to heal. But he added: "You had to get in shape for hell week, two-a-days. And goalposts are hard. We had the mindset that we're going to be playng a game soon. And so, we've got to be ready. It's going to be four quarters and that's going to be harder than this. So, it's all about getting ready for the four quarters. Having the stamina and just going all out."
The Chargers will play Nordhoff High of Ojai in a scrimmage at Agoura High next Friday night. Although the outcome is not important in terms of who scores more points, Nordhoff plays Oak Park every season and therefore the scrimmage may provide Agoura with somewhat of a blueprint for how to prepare for the Eagles.
"It's a great way to get tuned up, going against other competition than ourselves," said Gillette. "It will help make sure we're where we need to be to play Oak Park."
Poutier, who got to see a Nationals baseball game while in Washington D.C. and also went to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, agreed that the Nordhoff scrimmage will provide a gauge for Agoura.
"It's a nice test to see how everyone reacts in a game-time situation," Poutier said. "Practice is great, everyone is working hard, but once you get into a game it's a whole different energy. You have to release it and basically go crazy. It's a very nice preseason warm-up for Oak Park."
During the spring and summer, when Agoura took part in 7-on-7 passing games and tournaments, during the recent dead period and now during two-a-days and even, it seems, during goalposts, the emphasis has been on preparing for the showdown with Oak Park in the August heat.
"Yes (Oak Park) is a very big focus," Gillette said. "They're our cross-town rivals and we want to make sure we take it to them."
Kagan expressed a similar sentiment.
"Everyday we talk about how we want to beat Oak Park," he said. "It's always in our mind. We never forget about it."