All three of the Rail City’s prep football programs competed in preseason scrimmages Saturday and all three local coaches seemed upbeat about their team’s performances.
“I was real pleased,” sixth-year Spanish Springs coach Scott Hare said. “My overall impression is that, top to bottom, I thought it was a pretty good football scrimmage. I’m looking for kids who are physical, fast and smart. The kids who can do all three will be the ones playing on Friday night.”
Spanish Springs scrimmaged against perennial Northern 4A power Bishop Manogue Saturday morning. Hare said he likes his team to compete against a quality opponent in the scrimmage setting.
“You want to play somebody who is good traditionally and you want to know how physical you are. When you’ve got 54 guys like us, you want to play a big team to get a lot of guys reps. The good, physical teams are usually the bigger teams. I’m glad we got to play Manogue.”
Hare was excited to see a handful of student-athletes shine in the scrimmage setting, who were pleasant surprises.
“Every week there are guys who will do anything to get playing time, that maybe three months ago, you would not have thought so.” Hare said. “That’s why you write in pencil.
“We had some guys step up today. When guys step up, that means some other guys take a step back.”
Spanish Springs opens its season Friday night in east suburban Sacramento against northern California juggernaut Del Oro. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Across the Truckee Meadows, Reed got to scrimmage Damonte Ranch in south Reno. RHS coach Ernie Howren had positive things to say about his Raiders’ workout.
“I thought we got the few things we were looking for, which is we want the kids to be hitting and play at a high level intensity wise,” Howren said. “That’s the most important thing.”
It’s easy for players to look good in a practice, often times with less intensity than in game situations. The preseason scrimmages are the first chance prep players get to hit an opponent wearing a different uniform than them. Howren said that in itself tells his coaching staff a lot about its players.
“I think I was most pleased with our intensity,” he said. “It was a very physical scrimmage on both sides. When you bang each other up for five days leading up to this, you want to see how your players respond when they’re sore and something’s aching. How will you respond when it’s time to strap it on and get after it.”
Reed makes its season debut Friday night at home against perennially tough Granite Bay, also of east suburban Sacramento.
The veteran of local high schools, Sparks, was busy immersed in scrimmage action as well Saturday. Sparks made the bus ride to Lyon County to take on Rite of Passage.
Sparks coach Rob Kittrell saw some good and bad in his team’s play but said the scrimmage was a good starting block.
“We had some positives and negatives,” the Railroaders’ long-time coach said. “We saw some pretty good speed. ROP is very athletic. That was good to see because you can’t simulate that in practice … Overall, the scrimmage was pretty good.”
Kittrell liked the work of his offensive line, stressing it adjusted well to varied looks from the Rams. He also was pleased with his offense’s ability to sustain drives, an area that has been a weakness for the SHS gridders in recent seasons.
But he also said there is work to be done on the defensive side and overall physicality level.
“I’d like to see us get more physical than we were today,” he said. “ROP was probably the physical aggressor, but that’s something I know will come around with this group of kids. Defensively, we’ve got to take better angles and our tackling needs to be shored up too, just wrapping up.”
Sparks kicks off its 2011 season at home Friday against Yerington.