The Rolla football team hosted their annual Gatorade Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 5, asking those in attendance to donate Gatorades for the players this season. The scrimmage went off without a hitch, as things wrapped up before the skies opened up.
The morning started with running offensive plays without a defense, leading into a series of special teams drills. The Bulldogs were without the soccer players that serve as kickers, so Josh and Muluken Pritchett handled most of the kicking duties.
After running through special teams, the JV ran a full contact scrimmage, followed by the varsity. Head coach Jon Franks liked what he saw in the limited action.
"Well one, I was excited that they came in pretty locked in. A lot of times you can take a scrimmage and waste the opportunity. They were focused and they were excited to come preform. Obviously, we still have a lot of areas to work on because it got to them a little bit, they were excited and not really focused in (all the time), so learning how to handle that," said Franks.
"The thing I like to see and they always do is that they play really hard. They're playing fast and anything that happened today was because of a breakdown. If the offense had a negative play, it was just one little breakdown and on defense it would be one little breakdown. Sometimes when you get started you've gotta teach a whole concept like 'defense, run to the football' and they all run to the football, things like that. So the things we have to fix are little things, which is a really nice situation to be in in comparison to last year."
While Saturday's scrimmage was against themselves, Rolla will have their first taste of official competition this coming Friday when they host their Jamboree. Waynesville, Union and Poplar Bluff will all come into down as teams get their final tune up before the start of the season the following week. Coach Franks hopes to see consistency out of his players when they get in front of some real competition.
"We just want to be more sound for a longer period of time," said Franks. "I hate to talk about last year, but the kids would play well last year, but we'd play well for four plays and then break a play, or play good for three plays then have a bad play or play good for three quarters and take one quarter off. That's what we're really looking for all around is more consistency and that comes with experience and it comes with attitude. I think you can tell by looking at them that it's a different program than a year ago."