BANGS — Head coach Kyle Maxfield has been pleased with what he's seen from the Bangs Dragons through almost two full weeks of practice, but a better indication of where the team stands will take place Friday night.
The Dragons host Class 2A Division I No. 4 San Saba, which reached the state semifinals last season, in scrimmage action at Memorial Stadium. The subvarsity teams will hit the field at 6 p.m. with the varsity squads to follow at 7:30 p.m. Fifteen plays each for the first teams, followed by 12 plays each for the seconds, will be the format, with a live quarter of action to wrap up the evening.
“We feel like we're way ahead compared to this point last year,” said Maxfield, who guided the Dragons to a 3-7 record in his first season in charge of the program in 2018. “It's been a good week and a half, but we'd like to have one or two more kids step up on varsity to get to 25, and it's definitely doable with the numbers we have. Right now we're sitting around 23 or 24, but we're still moving some people around.”
Maxfield hopes the Dragons are at full strength Friday night, but injuries have plagued Bangs in the second week of workouts.
“The last couple of days we got some bumps and bruises,” Maxfield said. “We're hoping everybody can scrimmage but we might have to hold a couple of people out. You think your depth looks pretty good until you're missing one or two guys and you have to move some people around.”
Among Bangs' top priorities for the scrimmage, along with staying injury free, is to continue to evaluate the talent on the roster.
“We're not 100 percent set on all 22 starting positions yet but we're getting closer,” Maxfield said.
San Saba, coming off a 14-1 campaign with former defensive coordinator Andreas Aguirre now in charge of the program, should provide an instant measuring stick for the Dragons in terms of where they are and hope to go.
“San Saba is going to come in here with a lot of confidence,” Maxfield said. “It's the first scrimmage so they'll be working on base stuff. Coach Aguirre was defensive coordinator last year so they'll be running a lot of the same stuff and it'll probably be pretty similar on offense, too. They have a lot of weapons with the starters they have coming back and they were really physical and strong up front.
“It will be a big test for us but it'll be a good first scrimmage because we're going up against somebody that made a deep run. We talked about knowing your alignment and assignment and just getting after it. If we can have those things it'll be a good start. We're going to have mistakes and mental busts because we're still repping new things, but maybe we can hold our own and see what our strengths are.”