Jaguars early season gridiron efforts please coach
Mill Valley High School conducted its first football scrimmage of the 2001 season Saturday, Aug. 18. While Coach George Radell said he was pleased with some things, there were others needing more work. Fortunately for Radell and Mill Valley, there's still time to put in that effort.
With the season-opener now just eight days away, Radell said the overall tempo of practice has shifted into a higher gear.
"We're not playing at game speed yet, but we're ahead of where we were a year ago," Radell said. "That's encouraging."
Also encouraging were some elements of last Saturday's scrimmage. Radell said the offense ran well, the defense played strong and the team as a whole played like it was supposed to. The coach noted, however, the scrimmage was a step or two slower than games on Fridays.
"The best part of the scrimmage was that we were blocking the people we were supposed to block," Radell said. "We did some nice things and there was some other things we could've done better. But we were encouraged by the way we blocked."
With half of this year's offense already installed and the other half to be put in this week, Radell said the team is focusing on improving each time it takes on the field.
"We've got to continue to get better," he said. "We'll put the rest of the offense in this week and then we'll polish it the week before the first game. I think we'll be fine, but we have to keep working at it."
Saturday, Aug. 25, will offer Radell and company a chance to prove what another week of practice has taught them. Mill Valley's annual blue-silver scrimmage will be played at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and Radell said he's hoping the second scrimmage will be played at a faster pace. Senior receiver Tim Herbel thinks it will be.
"By the scrimmage, we'll know a lot more about where we are and where we're playing so we should be able to go full speed," Herbel said. "I think the most important part of the scrimmage will be to make sure we play it at game speed. That way we'll be prepared for the first game."
Herbel said that until now, Radell has been the one who has been responsible for getting the team motivated. Now, however, Herbel said he expects the seniors and upperclassmen to step up and have the team ready to play week one.
"We need to be more mentally ready to play," Herbel said. "Coach has had to motivate us a lot already, but we need to start coming out fired up and ready to get after it."
Senior captain Dustin Stinnett agreed with Herbel, saying intensity is something the team should be able to get without motivation.
"Why have coach do it when we can do it ourselves?" Stinnett said.
And with that attitude the Jaguars head into the final scrimmage before the games start counting for real. Mill Valley opens the season on the road against Immaculata in Leavenworth and Radell had only three words to say about that game.
"We'll be ready."