TIPP CITY – The conditions weren’t ideal, but the Greenville and Versailles high school football teams were just glad to be outside competing on Thursday morning.
Greenville and Versailles joined Archbishop Alter, Lehman Catholic, Miami East, Tippecanoe and Troy for a seven-on-seven passing scrimmage on Thursday at Tippecanoe. It was the first time either team had a chance to compete against other schools since preparations for the 2015 season began months ago.
“The conditions make it kind of tough,” Greenville coach Aaron Shaffer said. “When we first got here it was raining. Obviously the fields are a wreck. But the opportunity you have today is to get your mental side of things together being able to see a lot of offenses. You see like Miami East threw a little play-action motion and out of double wing at us. Tipp City is running some shift stuff. Troy is a little different now than they were in the past with the new coach so we got to see a little bit what they’re doing. But as far as competing today, that’s what we do. We go out, get lined up and see who can play and run a little bit.”
Both Greenville and Versailles just started camps for the upcoming season. While it’s still early in the process of preparing for the upcoming season, Thursday was a good opportunity for the teams to gauge their level of preparation at this point in the season.
“It was good to get out and face some opposing defenses and offenses,” Versailles coach Adam Miller said. “You know we go against each other for a couple days and it’s kind of tough to see where you’re at. So it’s good to get an indication of where we stand with the passing game.
“I think we’re coming along well. We definitely got some things we’ve got to get corrected, but it’s starting to pay off that the kids are getting used to the offensive and defensive terminology that we’re repeating things year after year. Things are starting to click.”
Rain fell at times during the passing scrimmage, and mud covered large portions of the field. Even though the conditions weren’t ideal, both teams know they could face similar situations during the season.
“Obviously you want better conditions, but like I told our kids on the way over here this morning before we left, that first Friday night that we play it could be pouring down rain and we could be playing in the same conditions so we might as well go practice in it now,” Shaffer said.
The wet field and footballs did hamper the passing at times, but it wasn’t too much of a hindrance.
“It really wasn’t too bad but probably not ideal,” Miller said. “You’d like to see what you can do on a dry surface, but we’re probably going to play in this sometime so it’s good to have a little experience in the mud.”
After months in the weight room lifting and conditioning, the weather didn’t matter much as the teams were just excited to be outside on the field.
“We’ve been in the weight room for feels like forever so it’s nice to get out here and actually do some football,” Miller said.
“You finally get to stop worrying about this and that and trying to figure out what you’re going to do and what adjustments you’re going to make,” Shaffer said. “Now it’s time to go do it and get out there with the kids. The kids are excited to be out here, and whenever they’re excited it’s easy to come out and coach and get them better and try to set ourselves up to have a nice season.”