BREWSTER – There was a little bit of sideline buzz after Hen Hud quarterback Nicholas Cunningham made a string of connections in live action.
It was a nice change.
After months of conditioning and two weeks of preseason camp, it really began to feel like football season on Saturday with eight local teams going full speed in full pads during controlled scrimmages at Brewster High School.
The season officially kicks off this week.
“We’ve been waiting for this after 11 days of doubles,” Cunningham said. “We’ve been waiting to hit somebody in a different uniform, not me of course, but all of the other guys.”
The great expectations remained intact for all involved, but two hours on the steamy turf provided some needed perspective.
“I thought we looked great,” Cunningham added. “Our offensive line was really doing a good job and Jack Attinelly was making plays. The one-handed grab he made in the end zone was outstanding.”
Actually, it was pretty impressive.
Brewster, Carmel, Lakeland, Nanuet, Putnam Valley, Yorktown and New Fairfield, Connecticut, also took part, emphasizing the basics and giving extra reps to the players who are still competing for starting jobs.
The new wrinkles are under wraps for at least another week.
“I thought our defense was pretty vanilla,” Yorktown coach Mike Rescigno said. “We did well against the run, but we got picked on in the air. I saw what I needed to see. I saw what I expected to see. There’s a lot I’m happy with, but we have some work to do.”
Getting ready for opening night against John Jay is now the priority.
“It’s the best time of the year,” Yorktown quarterback Jose Boyer said. “We’ve been working the entire offseason for this game. They’re going to come out flying so we have to match that intensity.”
Carmel appeared to have multiple threats in the backfield and was getting better with each series.
“I saw a bunch of guys today who love to play together,” Rams coach Todd Cayea said. “That has me really excited.”
Opening in stride has to be a priority. The first three weeks of the season include meetings with Arlington, John Jay-East Fishkill and Mahopac.
“We’re coming together,” Carmel defensive end and center Joey Kenna said. “It’s about the process. We have to focus game to game. We do have a tough schedule, but I think we have good skill players, a good offensive line. We just have to play the way that we play.”
Brewster is transitioning Jack Guida from running back to quarterback.
“It’s a big adjustment but my teammates have really helped make everything go smoothly,” he said. “Last year, I only had to worry about blocking on passing plays. Now I have to know what everyone is supposed to do and it’s helping me when I run the ball.”
The lessons are likely to continue beyond Week 1.
“He’s still got work to do, but Jack’s ahead of where I thought he would be at this point,” Bears coach Ed Mulvihill said. “I thought our defense was very aggressive today and that’s a big plus for us. The offense is not there yet. We need the offensive line to play with the same aggression we show on defense.”
The regular weekly routine began shortly after the buses left the parking lot, with coaches planning to spend two days evaluating film and preparing Week 1 game plans.
“We’re very young and I loved how we came out and played with energy,” Lakeland coach Rob Capelli said. “We’ll get back, meet with the staff and upload the film. It’s going to be a late night.”