The Adairsville High football team will scrimmage at Armuchee High today at 6:30 p.m.
The scrimmage will not only provide the Tigers a chance to show off the improvements they’ve made over the winter in the weight room and on the practice field so far this spring, but will also be an opportunity for the coaches to get answers on who will play what positions in the fall.
“We have everybody playing both sides of the ball in the spring so we can get as much experience and as much depth as we can. Most kids will play two or three positions over the course of this spring scrimmage with Armuchee,” head coach Eric Bishop said. “Those are the kind of things we’re experimenting with this spring. The film from the scrimmage will answer a lot of those questions and give us direction to where we need to be headed in June and July.”
The scrimmage was originally scheduled for Friday, but due to the threat of inclement weather, it has been moved up a day so that the coaches can get tape on their teams without the rain playing a factor.
Despite weather cancellations throughout the last two weeks of spring ball, Bishop believes his team has made strides.
“It went really well. Like everyone else, we’ve been dodging the weather last week, but the kids have responded well,” Bishop said of spring so far. “Our numbers are good. I think we’re somewhere around 83, somewhere in there. We’ve had some kids come out and show the benefits of their hard work in the offseason and some guys are really turning some heads.”
One of the most interesting position battles in the spring has been at quarterback, where Mason Boswell, Bryce Burgess and Michael Cook have been competing. According to Bishop, there is no frontrunner so far.
As for the players protecting the QB, Bishop cited the play of offensive linemen Maddox Teems, Brayden Crunkleton, Jonah Cline and Brock Holland.
“For so many years, the defensive line has been the unit on the field in our program that we’ve kind of hung our hat on, but this year, it’s really changed sides of the ball,” he said. “We feel like our offensive line might be that strongest unit.”
Bishop also noted Jakob Monroe as making an impact on the defensive line after coming out for football for the first time, and Wesley Thacker has moved from linebacker to the line and has taken strides there as well, adding talent next to Joseph Adcock.
Daylon Bailey, who was the region champ in the 100-meter dash on the track, has been working in at slot after playing mostly defense last year. He has added a spark on offense.
Defensively, Nick Jackson has emerged to add to the core of standouts who were already strong last year, such as Boswell, Burgess and Dakota Hughes.
Those are just a few of the names who have made an impact this spring. There have been more standouts this year as a result of more experienced units on both sides of the ball. The Tigers are returning seven on offense and eight on defense, more than twice the numbers of returners than they had at this time last year.
“A lot of kids are really doing some good things,” Bishop said. “We’re excited about where we’re headed, great competition in practice. It’s been a real good spring.”
Adairsville has not spent much time preparing for Armuchee, sticking mostly with its own offense and defense in practice.
The Class 2A Indians are coming off a 2-8 season and will run a spread offense and a 3-4 defense. Bishop said that’s about all the Tigers know heading into the scrimmage.
“I think the best thing about it is you’re going up against the unknown and it’s not us against each other,” he said of the value of the spring game. “We put in a lot of intensity and competition with the practice schedule, and just like in the preseason, you get to the point where you can only get so much out of that, and then you need to face the unknown a little bit.”
The format of the scrimmage will include punts and PATs, but neither is live and there will be no kickoffs. Bishop also said each team will take turns with 10-play series, regardless of whether a first down is gained or not, and the teams will not keep score.
“We’re really just trying to make it as productive as we can from a filming standpoint and an evaluation standpoint,” Bishop said.