Local squads set for week of scrimmages

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 19, 2005

Ever-improving Riverside Rebels set to take on Hannan Thursday night


Sports Editor

RESERVE-They have improved.

Now they get to hit someone that is not on their own team.

After surviving their first week of full pads, the Riverside Rebels are set to take on another team this week.

The Rebels are taking on Archbishop Hannan in a controlled scrimmage on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

“It is definitely time to play somebody else,” Riverside Head Coach Mickey Roussel said. “Last week we went six days in a row where you put the pads on and I don’t care how you try to change practice, you are hitting the same people over, over and over again.

“This is game week. There is going to be a little excitement in practice because they (players) know when they go out to that practice field, they are playing someone else at the end of the week.”

The anticipation Roussel said is not just limited to the Riverside players.

“We are anxious as a staff to go up against somebody else,” Roussel said. “As coaches you want to see how the players react to somebody else and what kind of adjustments you make during the scrimmage.

“You want to see what cream is going to rise to the top. After the scrimmage you first hope that you stayed healthy and second you just want to use this experience to get ready for September 2nd. That is what we are looking for because no one can lose a scrimmage.”

Roussel said the scrimmage will allow the Rebels to experience nearly all facets of a normal high school game.

“It’s a controlled scrimmage,” Roussel said. “We are going to go a certain amount of plays with our first and second units and at the end we are going to go a quarter game-time situation. Everything but kicking.

“It will allow us to get us to being on the sidelines and getting the plays in.”

After struggling early with the adjustment to pads, Roussel said he has been very happy with his team’s improvement.

“We have gotten better already,” Roussel said. “I’ve been doing this a long time and we have gotten a lot better this year already. We are getting acclimated to practice and acclimated to where we have to go. We are starting to get a bit crisper as we do it

“We’re not thinking as much and we are not having as many mistakes. We do not have to go over things over and over again. We have definitely gotten a lot better since the opening of camp.”

In addition to coming out of the scrimmage relatively injury-free, Roussel said he hopes to see one specific thing Thursday against Hannan.

“I want to see us compete,” Roussel said. “I want to see every position compete. Our starting offense may have 40 snaps and we want to win 32 of them.

“We know that mistakes will be made, but we want to see how the kids react to them and see if they continue to compete throughout the entire time Thursday night against Hannan.”