Jared Smith (86), right, attempts to run after catching a pass for the Wapakoneta Redskins in a July 24 high school football passing scrimmage against the Marion Local Flyers at Harmon Field. (Staff photo/Michelle Frank)
The start of the 2014 high school football regular season is less than two weeks away.
First, however, in less than 24 hours, the Wapakoneta Redskins will face their first instance of live, opposing competition, as Wapakoneta will host the Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds in a scrimmage starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Harmon Field.
The Redskins will demonstrate Saturday the initial results of summer weightlifting and conditioning, followed by team practices and instruction sessions in July and August.
The Redskins’ first-year head coach Travis Moyer explained what he ultimately wishes to see from his team in its first scrimmage in full pads against an opponent.
“We want to continue to take steps in the right direction, to be able to translate what we’ve been working on in practice into competition situations,” Moyer said.
All of the preparation the Redskins have completed to this point in the preseason came with needed adjustments to Moyer and a new direction under him and the rest of the coaching staff.
Moyer explained what exactly the players need to understand when making those adjustments.
“It’s continuing a learning process,” Moyer said. “That’s what it is, a process. We’ve really tried to sell our kids on we need to continue to get better each day. That’s what we’re striving for.”
Aside from the mental adjustments the Redskins have had to make since Moyer arrived, they have also needed to appropriate condition themselves physically in order to prepare for the regular season.
Moyer evaluated the players’ effort toward conditioning themselves.
“From a conditioning standpoint, our kids have worked extremely hard,” he said. “They understand the importance of conditioning and getting themsevles in shape, so they’ve done a good job with that.”
Wapakoneta’s progress will be unveiled Saturday morning against a new opponent on the Redskins’ preseason schedule, as the team has parted from an annual contest against Findlay.
Lima Central Catholic is an independent program in Division VI, which has made five consecutive playoff appearances and eight total since 2005.
Moyer said he will continue to prepare his team for the season in the way he needs to and not concern himself with how his team will match up against what LCC will do.
“To me, it’s continuing the process of preparing for the upcoming season,” he said. “For us, it’s to focus on ourselves right now. It’s not as much about what Lima Central Catholic is doing. I’m more focused on what we are doing, learning our system and making sure we’re executing what we’ve been talking to.”
Moyer explained what he wants to have a better idea of concerning his team when the scrimmage has concluded Saturday.
“It’s important we find out which kids are going to step up and compete, to find those guys who will step up and be productive in the scrimmage,” the coach said. “It’s an evaluation process. We have a lot of guys fighting for jobs. We need guys to step up and compete at a high level.”
Wapakoneta’s scrimmage Saturday against LCC is the first of two preseason scrimmages.
The Redskins will host the Minster Wildcats of the Midwest Athletic Conference at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 22 at Harmon Field.
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