WEST ALEXANDRIA – For the first time in school history, a Tri-Village High School football team competed against other schools when the Patriots played in their first seven-on-seven scrimmage on Tuesday at Twin Valley South.
The Patriots faced teams from Eaton, Madison, Stebbins and Twin Valley South in the passing scrimmage as they gear up for their first season of high school football.
“Some of these kids can never seen this before,” Tri-Village coach Jason Schondelmyer said of his team playing in the seven-on-seven scrimmage. “They didn’t even know this kind of stuff existed.
“I thought for our first time ever being in a situation like this I thought our kids did a nice job. If you looked at us warm up, you would have thought that it could be a long day for us. But after that first series and after that first drive, we made plays. The kids attacked the football, which is good.”
The scrimmage at Twin Valley South featured all down-and-distance situations with teams having to gain first downs to keep possession of the ball like in an actual game.
Tri-Village’s offense had nine total possessions against its four opponents and scored six touchdowns. The Patriots only turned the ball over once, which came when the second offensive group faced Eaton.
The Tri-Village defense played 10 series, allowing three touchdowns and forcing two turnovers. Both of the Patriots’ interceptions on defense came against Eaton.
“Jonny Wilson threw the ball really well, which was a real nice thing, nice day for us,” Schondelmyer said. “Just a lot of kids played well today. Austin Bruner had a big day. Josh Wiford had a big day. Jared Buckley. A lot of kids made plays, and they were aggressive doing it.”
Schondelmyer credited success in basketball with helping to prepare his players for their first action in high school football. The team’s two quarterbacks especially were helped out by their basketball skills as they were asked to distribute the ball and not turn it over.
“Trey Frech and Jonny, both of our quarterbacks, they handle the ball a lot in basketball,” Schondelmyer said. “So they distribute the ball. There’s a lot of similarities between football and basketball.”
With Tri-Village just starting its high school football program, the Patriots are still learning a lot, and Tuesday’s scrimmage went a long way in helping to prepare the players for their first real game in a little more than a month.
“Going into it I really didn’t have an idea (of how it would go),” Schondelmyer said of the scrimmage. “I didn’t know how we’d respond. And so to come out here and to do as well as we did, it’s a benefit to the kids. They’re buying in. They’re learning. All brand new coaching staff, there’s a lot of concepts we’re teaching them and for them to go out there and play, it was great to see.
“It’s great to see our kids get out here and compete. And I knew they would. It’s like we don’t have a lot of kids, but I think we have the right kids right now. They’re wanting to compete. They’re wanting to be successful. And I give them all the credit in the world that they have the courage to do something different, to try something new. A lot of people. A lot of people don’t like change, but these kids do. They’ve got a lot of courage like I said and they’re accepting the challenge and they’re ready to roll.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports. For more features online go to advocate360.org or ‘like The Daily Advocate’ on Facebook by searching Advocate360.