Scrimmages prime players for game action

Several area high school football teams partook in scrimmages with other schools Friday.

BRODHEAD—The curtain won't be drawn on Wisconsin's high school football season for five or—for most area schools—six more days.

For many, however, Friday scrimmages acted as a dress rehearsal.

It was the first opportunity for players to see live action against someone other than their teammates.

“Speed of scrimmage and game time is completely different than speed of practice time sometimes,” Elkhorn coach Tom Lee said. “You try to encourage speed in practice, but when you get against another team and they're going 100 mph, it's good to see that.”

The Elks, along with Beloit Memorial and Oregon, took part in a four-team scrimmage at Brodhead, where first-year Brodhead/Juda head coach B.J. Bockhop got his first look at the Cardinals against other foes.

Janesville Parker and Janesville Craig trekked to Sheboygan and Burlington, respectively, to see their first action.

Former Craig coach Bill O'Leary made his unofficial debut when his Milton team hosted Lake Geneva Badger, Waterford and New Berlin Eisenhower.

For all, the scrimmages were a welcome sight.

“Our numbers are a little low this year, so in practices we're not getting our (top units) against one another,” Bockhop said. “So coming out and getting a chance against Oregon, they took it to us pretty good, but we needed that. We needed to see somebody else and see some different looks.”

That was certainly the case in Brodhead, where the Division 4 Cardinals saw teams from each of the three divisions above them.

“Moving on from (Division 2) Oregon to (Division 3) Elkhorn, they were more our size,” Bockhop said. “And they had different defensive schemes, so we got to see different defensive looks. It helped a lot.”

Expectedly, coaches went home with a mixed bag of assessments of their teams.

“I saw a lot of good things,” Lee said. “And I obviously saw a couple things we need to correct. But we ran the ball exceptionally well and our assignments looked good. The competition was very good.”

It'll only get better when showtime arrives in less than one week.