Adam Spindler and Jason Becker were thinking both similar and different thoughts Friday afternoon when they led their new teams onto the field at the Pittsville scrimmage.
“Would our new offense run smoothly?” Spindler thought to himself, while Becker, who kept many of the same things in place, hoped his players would remember the plays.
Both coaches, who were assistants on the Nekoosa High School staff a year ago, were pleased with the first live showing of their respective teams.
Spindler, who is now the head coach at Rosholt, was glad to get on a bus and get his players used to a new routine, while Becker, the Papermakers’ coach, is trying to keep things close to the status quo in the first year of his tenure.
“It was nice to have the guys to ride the bus over and see how I like to run things in the locker room for pregame to walking out on the field,” Spindler said. “Everything was new to the guys. The offense is totally different than they ran last year, but one nice thing is we have the same defensive coordinator, so they could build on what they did last year for that. For our offense, this scrimmage was very important for the boys in getting live reps in the new system.”
Noted Becker: “We’ve had a lot of success the past 10 years with what we’re doing, and I didn’t want to change much because what we’ve done has been working. We were a little flat against Rosholt, and after our fourth or fifth play we looked strong and I think it’s because we’re keeping things the same.”
The scrimmage, which included Rosholt, Nekoosa, Abbotsford and host Pittsville, lasted about 2½ hours as varsity and JV teams ran 15 plays of offense against the opposing teams in three rounds of matchups.
Scores were not kept, but the intensity from the players was as it if were Week 1 of the regular season.
“It felt good to be able to go all out and hit somebody and not worry about hurting a teammate,” Pittsville junior running back Nathan Dupee said. “It feels good to be out there playing again. I’ve waited all summer for this.”
Abbotsford quarterback/defensive back Garrett Rau had similar feelings. “Ever since we got pads, we’ve hit each other again and again. It’s fun to hit someone else for a change.”
Rau looked at the scrimmage as a learning experience as well.
“It was good for us to do things at full speed against a real opponent and have refs who were calling penalties,” he said. “We didn’t get away with things tonight like we do in practice. It was good to see some teams that we don’t see during the season. We saw some different formations and defenses that we don’t normally see, and that will help prepare us for different things we might see this season.”