NEW MADISON – The Tri-Village football team scrimmaged Meadowdale and Upper Scioto Valley on Saturday and saw a lot of progress from its scrimmage against Gamble Montessori earlier in the week.
The Patriots were missing a few players because of injuries, first-year head coach Robert Burk said, which forced them to make some adjustments to their lineups. But even with the changes the Tri-Village coach saw some improvement from his squad.
“We’ve got a couple kids in new positions, especially at the offensive line, so we were trying to line up and block people,” Burk said. “And we didn’t do a very good job of blocking everybody Tuesday so we were looking for improvement. We were more sharp on knowing the offense and knowing the defense. We attacked people better defensively. We blocked people better offensively. I was really pleased today. I thought it was a big step forward for us, but we’ve got to continue to get better at the fundamentals of football, which is blocking and tackling and taking on blocks and things like that. We did that some today, but we’ve got to keep going up the ladder with that.”
Meadowdale, a Division IV school, is significantly larger than Tri-Village, and Upper Scioto Valley was a Division VII playoff team last year so both teams presented challenges for the Patriots.
“We see a team like Upper Scioto Valley who’s a playoff team in this region so we get a kind of feel for what that’s like and how big and physical they’re going to be, and we needed to see that,” Burk said. “Our kids are really good about learning when they see the tape so we’re going to get on the film and coach them up and show them what the expectations are and what a playoff team looks like. But we played right with them. They got the better of us today, but it was like two touchdowns to zero, and we had a chance to score. So we were right there with them, and we’re going to continue to get better.”
Upper Scioto Valley outscored Tri-Village during their time on the field together, but Tri-Village did outscore Meadowdale.
The Patriots are showing they understand the offensive and defensive schemes, Burk said, but they still have a ways to go in their preparation for the regular season.
“We’re getting to the right people, but we’re not playing as physical as we need to play to be successful so we need to keep working on our physicality, and that’s our No. 1 goal right now,” Burk said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.