ATHENS — The Athens Hornets played host to Emory Rains Friday morning in the season’s first scrimmage.
It is difficult to tell from the stands if a team is doing well or not in a scrimmage because we don’t know what the coaching staff is working on with a play. A particular series could look good or bad from the bleachers and the truth could be just the opposite.
So no worrying about who scored how many times or who “won” the scrimmage, but here are some observations from Bruce Frield on Friday.
— Plenty of players: Athens had enough players to run out a full freshman, JV and varsity team against Emory Rains. It is pretty obvious that the arrival of Coach Zac Harrell has created some excitement.
That’s @HornetAthens head coach Zac Harrell talking to his JV squad after Friday morning’s scrimmage.— Michael V. Hannigan (@MVHannigan) August 16, 2019
Coach Harrell was fully engaged with all three Hornet teams today: freshman, JV and Varsity. pic.twitter.com/wZvqteTLah
— Very organized: One thing that really stuck out to me Friday was the Hornet coaching staff’s organization. That did not look like a brand new bunch of coaches out there. It was obvious everybody knew where to be and what to do and that isn’t the first time I’ve seen that from this staff. The same thing stands out in practice. I think that bodes very well for the Hornets.
— Ground game: Fans may think the arrival of the spread offense in Athens means the Hornets are going to chuck the ball up every play, but that’s not going to happen. The Hornet offensive line and running backs are still a strength of this team, so I expect to see the running game be an important factor this season.
— Passing game: That said, the Hornets are definitely going to put the ball up a lot more than in the past. I expect the passing game to take time to develop, however, because the players just haven’t been practicing the needed skill sets for long. Everything from where to line up to running routes to catching the ball needs to be drilled.
— Fans in the stands: The scrimmage drew a pretty good crowd for a Friday morning in August. I even saw four school board members (there may have been more, that’s just the ones I saw). … One thing I would remind fans is that it is a lot easier to see what’s happening from 8 rows up than it is on the field. Sometimes the players can’t see what you are yelling at them to see.
— Agate: Happy birthday to Coach Harrell. … Did you see the TWO drones flying over the field at the same time? … Two JV players who were involved in a botched play wound up doing pushups together after the play. … I saw very few players walking on the field today. Everyone ran to where the needed to be. … Thank you to our sponsors: Athens Screen Printing and First State Bank.