Bobcats set to scrimmage Harrison Friday night
The Berryville Bobcats have been busy since fall practice started on July 30 and coach Doug Shott is beginning to see some major improvements.
"The attitude is so good right now," Shott said. "The kids want to get Berryville back to where it was. That's a big a positive as you can have. I feel like some of our kids are starting to come along, learn the rules and execute instead of thinking. It's also good to see our line starting to gel a little bit."
The junior high team had been averaging 30 players a practice leading up to the start of school. On Monday morning, Shott said there were an additional 20 players who hoped to sign up.
"We had a few kids come back that weren't with us for one reason or another during the preseason," Shott said. "As soon as we get their feet under them and get them acclimated a little bit, I think things will start coming together."
The Bobcats were unable to have a full-padded practice during the first week of practice, but that changed last week.
"I think we will be able to give a lick as well as we can take one," Shott said. "Our kids won't shy away from contact. We have to be a physically minded team. That fits us more than anything. We plan to give as many licks as we take."
Shott said the Bobcats are staying very physical, but he has structured the way his team goes about doing it.
"We didn't do the Oklahoma drill this year," Shott said. "We are doing more 1-on-1 drills in a controlled space. Kids are able to be physical and impose their will on one another, but it's a little different. With the Oklahoma drill, you have usually at least four kids and sometimes up to six. We went to the 1-on-1 drills to change things up a little bit and to control the environment. A lot of times with the Oklahoma drill, you have six guys in a box and someone gets knocked down on top of someone else. We were looking for ways to prevent that as well. The kids are liking it, though."
On Friday, Berryville has a jamboree at Harrison. Shott hopes to continue seeing progress between now and then.
"We want to see fundamentals," Shott said. "We want to see our kids blocking and tackling people Friday night. We work real hard trying to establish those fundamentals and I would like for us to go out and do a great job at that."
Shott is going to attempt to motivate the Bobcats heading into Friday's scrimmage.
"I'm going to show our kids the first three or four plays from last year’s scrimmage," Shott said. "I want them to see that we have to be better at some spots than we were last year and that is what we are looking for. We want to see us being better at blocking and tackling and we are looking to execute."
Berryville's senior high will face Harrison starting at 7 p.m. Friday. On Thursday, Aug. 23, Berryville's junior high will travel to Harrison for a scrimmage. That will begin at 6 p.m.