Senior Ben Christian showed improved strength in lineman drills at Centerville on Saturday.
JULY 11, 2009 - CENTERVILLE
The Covington Buccaneers have been working hard in the weight room and in off-season conditioning. So it was nice for the kids to get their first taste of competitive action against other area football teams in a 7 on 7 scrimmage at Centerville High School on Saturday.
And as expected from those who regularly attend the scrimmages, there were some big plays turned in by the Buccs along with some mistakes that will be addressed through coaching.
"We did pretty well, but we were inconsistent in our effort," said offensive line coach Glen Hollopeter. "We struggled at times and looked pretty good at times."
The mistakes that were made were expected by the coaching staff due to the fact that some new things have been thrown at the kids - things they have yet to master through the natural process of two-a-days and full-contact scrimmages.
"We know your heads are spinning because we are throwing some things at you that you've never done before," coach Dave Miller told the kids after the first scrimmage against Northridge. "We know you are going to make mistakes because you may not be in the position you need to be in, but that will come through coaching."
What Miller wanted to see and was solely looking for in his team was all-out effort.
"All we are asking you is that you go 150 miles-per-hour all the time," Miller continued. "Establish that habit now, because that's the only way this game is played."
Also as expected, many of the upperclassman who have an understanding of what it means to give all-out effort were the players who stood out from the pack, in particular the Buccaneer lineman.
Senior Ben Christian showcased his improved strength and quickness from the weight room in offensive and defensive line drills, while junior Josh Boehringer and sophomores Darren Clark and Sam Christian each had big moments against stiff competition of the likes of Centerville, Valley View, Stebbins and others.
"Overall, I thought our lineman did a good job of coming off the ball hard and going hard until the whistle blew," Hollopeter said. "There's some things we still need to work on, but it will come."
Also showcasing potential in the trenches was Cole Owens. The freshman more than held his own against varsity caliber competition, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
"We received a very nice compliment about Cole from the Centerville coaches," coach Miller said. "They said they'd love to have him, which means they thought very highly of him. If he keeps working hard like he is now, the sky is the limit for him."
In the 7 on 7 scrimmages, the Buccs had some good moments and some moments of uncertainty.
Three big offensive plays that stood out were an over-the-shoulder catch by Corey Haines, a long reception down the seam by Tyler Noffsinger and a touchdown reception by Noffsinger.
The catch by Haines came down the right sideline as junior quarterback Jake Bitner rolled out to the right and found his junior target behind the defense. Haines beat his faster defender with effort and caught the ball in stride before falling out at the one.
The two receptions by Noffsinger came on the same drive as the junior showcased his blazing speed and quickness to find the opening in the defense, giving his quarterback an opportunity to get him the ball.
Some of the younger kids showcased exciting potential catching the football as freshmen Gabe Mohler and Troy Cron each had nice catches.
The lone criticism of the Buccaneers' performance as a team was the inconsistency in effort throughout the day. But much of that can be attributed to the fact of the younger kids on the roster not quite understanding the level of effort that is expected of them and what their bodies are capable of doing.
Which will come through more experience and coaching.
"We'll look at the mistakes and make the corrections through coaching," coach Miller said. "We can correct assignment mistakes. What we want now is guys flying around the football field at 150 miles-per-hour making plays."
Much like the rain that put a delay in the action, all-out effort was there some of the time, but not all of the time.
"We didn't come out in the morning session and perform very well," Miller continued. "I didn't like the intensity level at all. But what I was pleased with was how well we finished in the afternoon. The kids were flying around the football field, playing with emotion and giving a much better effort. I liked the way we finished."
Which is something the Buccs can build on as they progress through two-a-days, additional scrimmages and into the upcoming season.