Well the Two a Days are over and now the scrimmages are completed. School is back in session and the bands are tuning up while the cheerleaders are putting the final touches on the routines. This is one of the best weeks of the school year, Pep Rallies and meet the team’s are all on the schedule for the week.
There is always the age-old question do you get a lot out of scrimmages and it can be answered in a two-prong answer. For the average guy on the street you cannot get much out of a scrimmage. However, for coaches you can get a lot of questions answered. For the fan, you cannot read into the score result for your answer. It is generally controlled and with very little special teams involved. For the coach, you get to see a lot of important information not in the score.
The first scrimmage usually falls into three areas. First are the veteran coaches who simply want to set in their base defense and offense. They want to see who is going to block and tackle. Looking for items of importance that they can correct There is nothing wrong with approach other than it is boring. Then the second is the coaches who want so to dial up all exotics and want to go out as if it’s a super bowl and win at all cost. Usually so they quickly get to the newspapers first as well as social media to brag on the myriad of stats they have accomplished. Then the third that will have their teams so jacked up they will play sky high from whistle to whistle with extreme intensity. Nothing wrong with this strategy either other can they possibly be that fired up in November or emotionally dead.
The second scrimmage tells a lot more about your team. All coaches now begin to work on game situation, game communications and timing and a possible adversity situations on how your team will react. If you lose its not the end of the world but you want to have problems you can quickly fix as opposed to problems that cannot be fixed. What are problems that can be fixed? Penalties and turnovers to begin with. You can clean those up. Time management and situational mistakes can be fixed. Getting beat deep or mental mistakes all are very fixable. Items you cannot fix. Team is weak physically. Too late for this, should have been done in the winter. Teams that are not physical, won’t hit and wont tackle. Cannot fix that. Teams that are out of shape, can be fixed but not in one week. Teams that are still trying to figure out an offense or defense. You have problems if this happens.
Coalfields was out all over the state at many different scrimmages. This is what was seen by the staff of writers:
Huntington is legit. They have the skill a size to challenge Martinsburg. They are the only team that has the total combination of the two to get it done. If they can survive a much more difficult schedule than Martinsburg this might be the matchup to look at.
Martinsburg is the real deal and deserve their National Ranking. Defense win Championships and that is exactly what they have. They held a very good Patrick Henry, VA team out of Roanoke to 0 points. Let’s keep in mind they are also coached by a former State Champion in Allen Fiddler known as a very good offense coach. Don’t blink your eyes on that because P.H. is loaded with skill people. They are equally as powerful on the offense side of the ball.
Mingo Central is still the team to beat in AA. They are nowhere as good as last year though. However, it will take a very good effort to beat them and you better bring you’re a game because they are very physical. Injuries makes this team human. Not the same depth as last year.
Bluefield is a team that might contend if you go by the first scrimmage. If you go by the second scrimmage toy have the same problem, they are not physical in the trenches. Could be a problem with Mingo and Bridgeport if that does not get fixed. Schedule is a little better for them so it will be interesting.
Bridgeport, keep in mind Mingo still has not beat Bridgeport. A heck of a questionable call that kept them out of the State Championship and Fairmont was a better matchup for Bridgeport. Also, Mingo did not want to play them unless it was in the Championship so they might just get their wish. Bridgeport has renewed motivation this year and it was shown in scrimmages and they have been very quiet.
Cabell Midland is a team to be concerned about in the MSAC. All the talk of Spring Valley and Huntington must have left a scar on them in the off season because they destroyed a good GW team in every possible way. Question is doing they have the skill positions to match up with the others because if you want to play smash mouth with these guys it will be a long night.
Chapmanville looked like a team that had an offense built around one guy. Chapmanville was playing even with Mingo until their QB went down. After that not so much. It will be interesting on how this all unfolds. Chapmanville’s QB is the real meal deal and looked to live up to the hype in the preseason.
Hoover looked like a team that has improved and will be a tough out in the Cardinal Conference. While Poca trying to stop the state’s longest losing streak looked somewhat improved and working hard to try to represent but if they don’t win the first game against Nitro this thing might last a little longer.
Shady Spring is one of the largest AA in the State and has some very good skill people. As much speed as most they will play. Their schedule is the easiest it has been in years so they have the pieces to contend for a playoff. While James Monroe lived up to all the preseason top 10. They are very physical and has a good nucleus back from last year. Only concern there is numbers, where are all the players at.
Midland Trail will be hard team to deal with in A. They look much better on defense than offense and that is where it should be at this time of year and that show down with Fayetteville may dictate which one goes to the playoffs. Dave Moneypenny is one of the best coaches in the State and the Pirates looked good in the scrimmages so look out for the Pirates.
South Charleston and Parkersburg might have been the hardest scrimmage to watch out of all the teams that the Coalfields and Co. watched. First South Charleston was extremely sloppy with penalties and turnovers. If they did not have them this would have been an ugly scrimmage. It was just sloppy over and over and I am sure the coaches will have fun on Monday cleaning that up. Secondly, Is Parkersburg really that bad? Silver lining is they did look pretty good on defense and they can protect their offense while it grows. Offensively it was a mess.
St. Albans got beat pretty good by Huntington but they are very much improved. Coach Tinsley has his offense system in place now and they have the skill potions to light you up if you cannot match up. However defensively they have issues to clean up. The Parkersburg and St. Albans game might not be a premier game state wide but it could answer some major questions about the season of both teams.
The Wisconsin Badgers of WV High School version is Spring Valley who might have the biggest HS football team in the history of the State. Not sure anyone has seen a team that is this big across the board. This makes for a fun MSAC season for sure.
Capital is still Capital. If you want to beat them play them early, once they get in shape look out. They will be a nigh mate to defend. They have weapons at every potation and they are two deeps with those weapons. They will not drop off. They are better coached than people vie them credit and they will light you up physically.
Well that is the scrimmage breakdown from the staff at Coalfields and Company and there is nothing left but the games now. Look for the Fight Card on Thursday and the predictions on Friday. It all starts with GW and SC on THURSDAY NIGHT.