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August 18, 2009 - Seth Staskey
I am back to blogging after a slight absence due to work on The Times Leader's Pigskin Preview, which is complete, heading to the printer and will be available to the readers in hard copy next Tuesday and available online shortly thereafter.
Anyway, the prep football season is now literally right around the corner. Several area teams open their season in nine days on Thursday. Most play on Friday and a few locals will get things started on Saturday.
Hard to believe, but it's reality. I had a chance to observe the Martins Ferry-Barnesville scrimmage for a bit and this week will take in the Ohio Valley Football and Band Jamboree at Wheeling Island Stadium. I am a firm believer that we as fans and media types can't take much from scrimmages.
It's too tough to predict injuries that are going to occur and during scrimmages most teams aren't showing anything more than basic stuff because they know there are several other coaching staffs sitting in the bleachers with notebooks looking to steal the big secret of the year. Heck, some of the teams even have their players wear different numbers, so it's real tough to scout.
Personally, I know it's not allowed by the OHSAA or SSAC, but I would love to see teams play in essence real pre-season games. That's kind of what the Jamboree does, but you can't keep score and you don't kick off. Those prepare players for the rigors of being on the field on a Friday night and feeling the pressure. Scrimmages are basically just an opportunity for coaches to evaluate, which don't get me wrong is extremely important.
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