Spring practices came to a close last week for the Enterprise freshman team with a Blue and White Scrimmage, while the EHS varsity team gets set for practices to begin this week.
The freshmen started out with 70 players but by the time the scrimmage came around there was just over 50.
“Our numbers dwindled a little bit,” Enterprise varsity head coach Rick Darlington said. “The ones that remained did well, though. We only had about nine days, so we were trying to teach them the basics of blocking, tackling and taking care of the football along with our systems that we’ll be using (on offense and defense).”
The scrimmage split the offense (blue) and defense (white) apart and utilized a unique scoring system to keep things fair. Touchdowns were still worth six points and two-point conversions worth two points, but the offense could also score points by making big plays. The defense, however, could earn points by getting stops, forcing turnovers, stopping two-point tries and tackles-for-losses.
With the White team leading 69-61, the Blue had one last opportunity to score with one last drive. The Blue team was able to convert two third-and-long situations on the drive and finally were able to punch in the touchdown to make the score 69-67 with the White team still in the lead.
The Blue squad managed to tie things up with the two-point conversion and Darlington had to make a decision of whether to let the tie stand or not.
“I’m thinking should we call it a tie? Most people would just call it a tie but I know how (defensive coordinator) Coach (Jed) Kennedy is and I know me,” Darlington said. “Everything we talk about here is winning, so do we really want to tie? I look over to Coach Kennedy and he yells, ‘You know I want to go for it!’ So, we lined up for another two-point try.”
The offense managed to convert the try and walked away with the 71-69 win in the Blue and White Game.
“It ended really good and it was fun,” Darlington said. “Those guys are just starting out now and they’ll continue to work with us until the end of the school year and then work out with us in the summer, too. So, hopefully we’ll see even more improvement by August.”
The varsity squad suits up on Thursday, May 2, for the first day of spring practices and Darlington said the spring will be primarily about getting the right guys into the right spots.
“We want to get people in the right places and that’s always the No. 1 thing (for spring),” Darlington said. “I want our guys to learn our systems – the basics of what we want to do – and get our systems in place and people in the right place.”
Darlington said that one of the advantages of his staff working with the junior high teams and freshmen squad already this spring is seeing where the practices and the staff itself needs to improve.
“We’ve been able to see how the coaches coach and it’s almost like it’s been practices for the coaches, too,” Darlington said. “We’ve had about three weeks of that and I think it’s really helped me as a head coach and (Kennedy) as a defensive coordinator to see where we need to improve as a staff.”
The varsity team will hold its own Blue and White Scrimmage on Friday, May 10, at 1 p.m. before hosting Park Crossing on May 17 at 7 p.m. for a spring game.