In their first scrimmage of the season, the Sacred Heart Tigers came away with an abundance of positivity after their game against Alvord on Friday, Aug. 16.
Head coach Dale Schilling said he was very pleased with what he saw and that his team is right on track to be ready for the start of the regular season.
“We didn’t turn the ball over,” Schilling said. “We talk about it every day and we do drills to protect the ball. We had success on every offensive play with our first play. But the biggest thing is we played very fast and physical on defense. And that’s the thing that we’re pushing so hard is to be fast and physical. I could not have been more pleased.”
Sophomore quarterback Seth Swirczynski had a productive first scrimmage of the season and Schilling said he picked up from where he left off in 7-on-7 summer football.
“[Seth] made one wrong read all night, which is very satisfying to me, but we even checked off at the line of scrimmage and everyone picked it up,” Schilling said. “You know, we’re taking it slow. We’re not running a lot of plays, but if you know what you’re doing, you’re going to do it so much faster. And that’s why we just push rep, rep, rep.”
The scrimmages are merely warmups in Schilling’s view, so staying healthy is a priority.
“Both those schools came out healthy, which is a big blessing,” Schilling said. “We’ve gotta stay healthy all year. Do you want success? Yes. You want to score more than them? Yes. But the main thing is you want to see fundamentals being done.”
One area Schilling said he wants cleaned up between now and the Tigers’ scrimmage Thursday, Aug. 22, is tackling on defense.
“We did tackle, but it could have been a little bit better,” Schilling said. “We tackled a little bit high. We missed a few tackles. As far as our blocking scheme and our option reads, I was very pleased. We’ll work on tackling in practice. Went to the film with the kids. The biggest negative coming out of scrimmage was our tackling.”
Schilling knows there is time to get their weaknesses covered before the Tigers’ first game of the season against Collinsville.
Sacred Heart will travel to Valley View for a scrimmage Thursday and Schilling said the focus is all on his own team.
“If we had a younger team, we may want to get a lot of success or something like that, but we won’t necessarily scheme against Valley View,” Schilling said. “We just want to take care of the basic fundamentals. We’re pretty close. Last year, we had five kids that had varsity experience. Now we have a nine or 10 so there is a big, big difference in experience.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip