It may not equal opening day of Major League Baseball, but there may be a lot of people taking off work Friday to see the initial play of local football teams.
The Keller ISD squads will take advantage of the first day for scrimmages set by the UIL to take to the field for their first tastes of combat outside their own intrasquad play.
Following the first week of workouts, the four schools are prepping for the one scrimmage before heading into game week.
For Central, they’ll scrimmage Irving Nimitz at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning at KISD Stadium.
“We’ll play early in the morning to give the kids more rest time,” said head coach Bart Helsley. “We got in a habit of playing on Friday several years ago.”
The first week of practices went well, Helsley said. He said competition at several positions has kept the intensity and focus at high levels.
The intrasquad scrimmage last Saturday afforded the first team at least 10 good plays.
“Obviously, we made some mistakes, but in 10 plays, there were some things to feel good about,” Helsley said. “Once we got the pads on, things picked up,” he added.
Central won’t shorten its week in preparation for the Nimitz scrimmage.
“We look at it as a practice with game situations,” Helsley said.
The biggest adjustment the Chargers will make is working to the new 40-second clock.
Previously, the official would wind the 25-second clock once the ball was marked ready for play. Now, at the conclusion of a play, the 40-second clock will begin to roll immediately.
“The linemen have to get back to the huddle and not be waiting around for the official to blow the whistle,” Helsley said. “In this first year, the officials, coaches, players and the clock keeper will have to get used to it.”
Central will start classes next Monday and the excitement will build as game week gets closer. Central will lead off with LD Bell at home on Aug. 29.
Head coach Carl Stralow said he continues to be excited about the high level of retention from the spring drills.
The Indians will continue to install their offensive and defensive schemes before the Summit workout but will not focus on specific elements of the Jaguars’ game.
During this week’s workouts and into the scrimmage, Stralow said his four quarterback candidates will continue to audition for the ranking spots. “They all have something to bring to the table,” he said.
The first week of practices were productive, as Stralow said they were fortunate the weather wasn’t over 100 degrees all week.
“I’m excited about the kids’ effort and approach,” he said. “It’s been one of the best first weeks of workouts in terms of how they’ve worked, and I couldn’t be more pleased,” Stralow said in a coach’s customary hoarse voice after a week of two-a-days.
Keller will compete in the first Class 6A varsity football game in state history as they play on Aug. 28 at 4:30 p.m., when they take on Midland Lee.
“It was a good first week of practices,” said head coach Tony Baccarini. “We were able to get used to the heat, but it was a typical first week.”
The Panthers will stay “vanilla” in terms of their packages, and will have just a Thursday walk-through to discuss anything the first-week Hawks may present at the scrimmage.
The first week of practices went well for the Falcons, said head coach Kevin Golden.
“It went real well, and it was a hot day when we first put on the pads and we hit a sinking spell,” Golden said. “But Saturday went well,” he said of their intrasquad scrimmage. “It’s been going well because we’re miles ahead of where we were last year. It’s been refreshing and fun.”
Golden said the scrimmage will allow time to work on the “nuts and bolts” such as covering gaps on defense. “We’re really just focused on us,” he said. “Everman runs the same defense so our offense’s job is easy in terms of preparation.
“We’ll be looking for hitters because we don’t hit that much in practice,” Golden said. “We’ll see how physical we are and will look for execution under fire.”
Timber Creek will kick off their season at Irving Nimitz on Friday, Aug. 29.