ARCANUM – Neither Ansonia nor Arcanum plan on throwing the ball a lot this fall, but nevertheless they worked on their passing on Thursday in a seven-on-seven scrimmage at Arcanum.
The Ansonia, Arcanum, Brookville, Dixie and Lehman Catholic football teams participated in Thursday’s scrimmage, which doesn’t include offensive or defensive lines, running plays or blitzing.
“Seven on seven in our offense this year, it’s not an excuse but it’s not what we’re about,” Arcanum football coach Jason Schondelmyer said. “We’re going to come off the ball and we’re going to run the ball.”
Schondelmyer, who spent the past two years at Tri-Village, is back leading Arcanum. He previously was the Trojans’ head coach from 1999 to 2005. Now in his second stint in Arcanum he’s working to install his offense and defense with a team that doesn’t have much varsity experience.
“For us it’s just a little bit faster speeds, seeing routes full speed, ones against ones, seeing how we can do with that,” Schondelmyer said of his goals for the seven on seven. “And just aligning. It’s so early. It’s still July. You know aligning in our base defense, communicating our coverages, trying to get it to where it starts to slow down mentally for the kids.”
Eugene Hoening is entering his 37th season leading the Ansonia football program, building a program with a run-first offensive identity. Even though the Tigers couldn’t use most of their playbook, Thursday’s scrimmage still provided opportunities for the Tigers to improve.
“We get to compete, work on our pass coverage, we get a lot of route repetition doing the same routes over and over, some conditioning as well getting used to running around in the heat,” Hoening said. “It’s just out of my comfort zone to throw like that, but we completed a few so I think it gives the boys a little bit of confidence that we can throw deep if we have to.”
The heat and humidity presented challenges for each of the teams on Thursday, but it’s something they’ll all have to get used to for the beginning of the season.
“Everybody needs to get acclimated including myself as a coach,” Schondelmyer said. “All of us do and camp’s done that. Obviously it’s what we’re going to deal with, and it always seems like the first Friday night of the season it’s hot and muggy so you know it’s not bad. The good thing about it is pretty short and sweet today. We didn’t want to drag it out. Want to get a lot of reps, play with a lot of energy and be done for the day.”
The start of the season is coming up quickly with practice officially beginning later this month.
“Real practice this year begins July 31,” Hoening said. “It seems too early … July? Come on. But, oh well. It’s here now. We’re going to have to deal with it.”