While the Muenster Hornets get their initial taste of combative football in their first scrimmage against Jacksboro on Friday, Aug. 16, head coach Brady Carney said his main hope for the scrimmages is for his players to stay healthy.

One benefit that comes from scrimmages is the experience gained for the young players.

“I’m fine with taking a bunch of JV reps because I’ve got 24 JV kids that need a lot of work,” Carney said. “I don’t want them to get hurt, but at the same time, we’re going to need a little bit more from those younger guys. And I do think a scrimmage for younger guys, I’m all for that, because it’s a learning opportunity.”

Carney said he always worries about losing players to injury, especially before the season officially begins at Arlington Pantego on Aug. 30.

“The longer I’ve been coaching, the more I fear scrimmages, especially in a year like this for us where we don’t have a lot of numbers,” Carney said. “We will roll out 17 or 18 on Friday nights, which is low for us. We’ve been in the mid 20s to upper 20s. You just don’t want to be part of serious injury during practice or scrimmage. The longer I’ve been coaching, the less I look forward to scrimmages but same time, I know for the kids. They hit their teammates for a couple of weeks and they look forward to hitting somebody new.”

Because the Hornets are focused on their own game, Carney said there isn’t a ton of attention paid to scouting and preparing for Jacksboro.

“As far as preparing for them, we just try to learn their base defense,” Carney said. “So we’ll exchange notes on formations, so during practice, we’re blocking an even front. Most of the time, I don’t care about winning scrimmages. It’s as much about exposing your team to four different formations.”

Carney elaborated on why he and the coaching staff worry more about their own schemes.

“If you’re coaching kids to play a certain block, it doesn’t matter how much you prepare as far as formations and plays,” Carney said. “A down block is a down block. There is a certain style of play they do against the down block. It still needs to be treated the same way. This time of the year, most coaches will tell you, we’re still working on all those the fundamentals.”

Patrick Hayslip can be reached at sports@gainesvilleregister.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip

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