With two weeks of practice under their belts, and two weeks remaining until their season openers, the Brownwood Lions, Bangs Dragons and Comanche Indians will tangle in a tri-scrimmage Friday at Memorial Stadium in Bangs.
Junior varsity action is slated to begin at 5 p.m., with the varsity squads taking the field at 7 p.m.
Brownwood second-year head coach Chuck Howard, who guided the Lions to a 4-7 record in his first campaign, is using Friday’s scrimmage to get a better feel for how much progress the team has made thus far.
“I look forward to having a little bit of a measuring stick to see where we are,” Howard said. “We’ll know more after the scrimmage. We’re making good progress, but we’re not at all where we need to be. Our players are doing everything they can to do exactly what we’re asking of them, so I’m pleased with the effort.”
Bangs head coach Chuck Lipsey, who for the past two seasons has guided the Dragons three rounds deep in the playoffs, is anxious to see how his team stacks up against Comanche, a playoff team a year ago, and Brownwood, which is a classification larger.
“It’s really hard to tell where we are at this point, but we’re going to get after it against Brownwood and Comanche,” Lipsey said. “I don’t expect everything to be perfect, but I do expect the effort to be there.
“I think we’re a little bit further along than I expected for the first two weeks. I’ve been pretty pleased with how it’s going. They’re picking up what we’re doing, there’s some new kids in new positions, and all that’s been good.”
The biggest question mark for the Dragons heading into the season is at quarterback, where Keegan Hall appears ready to take over for graduated three-year starter J.T. Newton.
For the Lions, defensive improvement and the development of new skill players are among the areas the Brownwood coaching staff will intently monitor.
“I want to see us be physical and aggressive on both sides of the ball,” Howard said. “The first scrimmage everyone is a little tentative, there’s some uncertainty. We have certain things we know we want to look at, but we’re going to be extremely vanilla on offense and defense. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter what play we call, I want to see us be physical and aggressive on both sides of the ball. If we do that, I’ll be pleased with whatever happens.”
The format to the varsity scrimmage will feature the Brownwood first-team offense and defense against Bangs for 15 plays each, followed by the Lions starters against the Comanche first string for 15 offensive and 15 defensive snaps. Brownwood’s second-teamers will follow the same schedule against the reserves of Bangs and Comanche, but only executing 10 plays. The scrimmage will conclude with Bangs and Comanche starters going at each other for 15 plays each on offense and defense, followed by the reserves matching up for 10 plays apiece.