The White Pine High football team participated in a scrimmage with Lincoln County High School and West Wendover in preparation of its 2013 season. The scrimmage came a week prior to its season-opening game against Milford on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.
“It’s an exciting time of the year,” coach James Williams said. “It’s nice to play at full speed and hit somebody else.”
Williams, who is entering his second season as head coach of the Bobcats, sees a young team looking to make its mark early in the season. While many players may not have lots of game experience, Williams said the coaching staff brings more experience and knowledge this season.
“A little more experience on my part and a little less experience on their part,” Williams said. “We have a really young team. We are really only returning two full-time starters from last year. We had a couple kids that started but got injured or other reasons. We have a really inexperienced team but our coaching staff has a little more experience from this year and and know how to work with the kids better.”
Last Saturdays scrimmage provided both junior varsity and varsity players a chance to simulate game situations and to play at game speed on both offense and defense. The chance to experience that prior to the regular season is invaluable, Williams said.
“I think it’s a real good thing to be going at game tempo because it’s hard to simulate that in practice,” Williams said. “We want to be smart and slow and not hurt our guys during practice. It’s nice to have them go full speed against somebody else and get that intensity level up.”
But with an inexperienced team comes several positions where players are not set yet. Williams said he expects positions to be finalized in the near future, but the team won’t likely know until the season begins in earnest and hits the field for a full game.
“We’re still working out some things,” Williams said. “We’re still looking for some offensive linemen I think. Our linebackers will be fluctuating a little bit. Our defensive backs will be also. When you have a young team, it’s kind of hard to know who will be doing what just yet. But I think we will have it set in a week or two.”
As the Bobcats make final preparations for its season-opener against Milford, the first game of the season provides an opportunity for younger players, Williams said. The door will be open for them to make an impact on the field, solidify their roles on the team and help get White Pine’s 2013 season off to a good start with a win.
“To step up and take the roles and grab the bull by the horns,” Williams said. “We have a lot of kids that, because they’re inexperienced, kind of play tentatively. We want to get those butterflies out of their system and have them step up and embrace their football roles.”
After a 2012 season that saw the Bobcats barely miss out on a playoff berth, White Pine has its eyes set on returning to the postseason. And while the 2013 season remains an unknown, with less experienced players ready to make their mark on the team, Williams said the team has the potential to make a deep run and contend for a title.
“On paper we look pretty good,” Williams said. “The varsity players are executing decently well. We’re looking forward to see how the team will manifest itself this season.”