Above: New PCC football coach Fred Fimbres during fall camp opener.
By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
PASADENA – Every football coach has preached perfection.
The latest era in Pasadena City College football began Thursday with perfection on the mind of new head coach Fred Fimbres.
“We’re making sure that we’re keeping it in front of these young men’s minds that everything counts,” Fimbres said. “It’s not just the big picture of running the play. It’s every step, it’s every body position and hand placement.
“When we plug all those pieces together, it makes the big picture.”
His points were not lost with the current crop of Lancers. The offense could not finish practice until it had run 10 consecutive plays to perfection. The defense had to run its schemes to perfection, too.
“We want to be detail-oriented,” Fimbres said. “You get so excited to run plays that sometimes what you tend to do is forget about the attention to details, the meticulous pursuit of perfection in everything we do.”
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Fimbres’ point of perfection was not lost on newcomer Justin Posthuma, either. The redshirt freshman quarterback from St. Francis High School walked on at UCLA last year, but felt he was overlooked and enrolled at PCC after scoping out other community college programs.
He said he chose to attend Pasadena because he practices punctuality.
“I would show up for a 3 o’clock meeting and it wouldn’t get started until 4:30,” he said. “I’m really big on organization and discipline.
“I grew up in Pasadena. I never would have dreamt I would have come here. But I love the staff.”
The Lancers did not start the day in perfection, though. Nearly half the team missed an afternoon meeting. Fimbres locked the door shortly after the meeting was scheduled to begin.
“It’s doing the simple things,” Fimbres said.
Posthuma, of course, was at the opening-day meeting in a timely matter. But nearly half the team found itself doing extra post-practice drills.
“We have to get it crisp,” sophomore quarterback Cesar Hernandez said of being perfect. “That means starting from the basics.”
The Lancers spent nearly three hours in just helmets and workout clothes on the Robinson Stadium field. They don full pads on Saturday and will hold an intrasquad scrimmage, with game officials, a week before their Sept. 3 season opener against Glendale College.
Fimbres, who coached at College of DuPage in suburban Chicago last year, said he was pleased with the first day of practice, with the exception of so many players missing Thursday’s meeting.
“I’m glad for the way it went,” he said. “Their focus is a little better.”
The left-handed Hernandez is the only quarterback on the team with PCC game experience. Last year, he played in five games but threw only 10 passes. He completed four and threw an interception.
“We’ve taken him in and he’s taken us in,” Hernandez said of his new coach. “We stuck to what we had to do as quarterbacks and receivers. It did not matter who came in. We still had to be in condition, although I was worried.”
Roughly 20 sophomores return, including middle linebacker Grant Haggard of Monrovia, cornerback Marcus Graves of Muir, tackle Khambrell Gomez and wideout Wayne Peters.
Pasadena opened the season winning its first four games last year, including a 41-20 win over Glendale. The Lancers lost their final six contests.
Fimbres, who did not join the program until the last week in June, said he’s still learning players’ names.
“You put the helmets on and it’s even hard,” he said with a laugh. “I’m learning them, but it’s taking some time.”