SPENCERVILLE — Area high school coaches got their first glimpse of what to expect from their squads as teams participated in their first scrimmages this week.
Spencerville and Shawnee engaged in a scrimmage Friday and both coaches agree that not much can be gathered as far as what their final product will look like Aug. 26, but it allows them to take the first step towards preparing for the upcoming season.
First-year Shawnee head coach Frank Crea, who has taken over a team that went winless last season, was pleased with what he saw against the Bearcats and hopes the team continues to improve and gain confidence after this first scrimmage.
“When a team goes 0-10, there is a lot of question marks on their ability and we have been trying to tell them all year that you guys can be a pretty good as a football team if you keep working hard and growing as a family and I think we took a major step today.”
Crea added he thought his team held its own against an always solid Spencerville squad and showed some small glimpses of what it can accomplish on both sides of the ball.
On the first first play for Shawnee, the Indians hit a long pass for approximately 30 yards and that immediately had the team pumped up throughout the scrimmage.
“We want to see if the stuff we are teaching them is working,” Crea said. “As you saw I think the kids are buying into what we are trying to teach them. They came out aggressive and I thought they got after it a little bit and that is the stuff we are trying to teach. Be aggressive and be that type of football player.”
On the other sidelines, Bearcat head coach John Zerbe said his team came out a little nervous and a little flat but once they got over the initial hits and mistakes, they seem to settle into a familiar pattern of successfully moving the ball down the field on offense.
“You see a lot of guys unsure of some things,” Zerbe said. “We got the jitters out and that is good. We came out a little flat and then we got going. We still have a lot to improve on.”
Zerbe is looking to replace several key members that were lost to graduation.
“You are working two or three guys on one spot and and when you get into the season you are playing one guy there so you don’t have a lot of consistency right away and both teams are doing it. You are just feeling your way on what your team is going to be and what things can we do and what things we can’t do.”
Zerbe, who called this a “competitive season,” as far as battling for roster spots are concerned, expects those who want to establish themselves as the front-runner for the starting nod will begin to show as the preseason progresses.
Like Zerbe, Crea wanted to see how his starters performed and then how their backups did to begin the evaluation process of grading and selecting a starting lineup.
“As coaches we will sit down and start looking at the film and start grading,” Crea said. “You know I am a stickler on grading. I give them a plus or a minus and I don’t give them anything else and we will see what we need to improve on.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468 or on twitter at JoseNogueras1