Great Bend High School showcased its football team on Friday night at Memorial Stadium with an intrasquad scrimmage.
Panthers head coach Bo Black said that he was happy with his team’s physicality and speed.
“I think we got a lot of reps, and you’re never sure until you go back and watch the film, but I think our kids played hard,” Black said. “We kept it relatively basic, but I thought we were very physical on both sides of the ball.
“We ran the ball well at times, but you never really know until next week about this time to be honest with you.”
The Panthers offense mainly showed off its running back tandem — senior Josh Lopez and junior Jonathan Allende. Quarterback Bryce Beck got the call to look downfield only a handful of times, most of them ending with the junior tucking the ball and running for a first down.
“We know we need to get the ball in the air a little bit,” Black said. “We wanted to come out and run the football tonight and keep it pretty basic.
“We need to start a little bit more balance, but this is a scrimmage. You’re not so worried about staying balanced tonight.”
Black said that he uses the preseason exhibition to appraise his team’s progress.
“It’s the last time you really have a chance to evaluate everybody,” Black said. “You want to come out of it setting depth charts for Week 1, and make sure your kids understand what a full Friday night is like. We brought them in at 4:45 p.m., and went through the whole routine. We looked for kids to play hard and play fast and give great effort.”
The scrimmage was made up of two quarters. The first saw the No. 1 offense challenging the No. 1 defense, and the No. 2 offense facing off against the No. 2 defense.
The offenses exchanged defenses in the second quarter, with the No. 1 offense scoring two touchdowns against the No. 2 defense for a 14-0 White-squad win over the Black.
“I thought, all and all, we did a lot of ones against ones,” Black said. “When you play your No. 1 offense against your No. 1 defense, you don’t want to see anything real special to happen. You want both sides to fight to a draw.
“More than anything, you like to get this one out of the way so you can stop focusing on each other and start focusing on your first week’s opponent.”
While the scrimmage is a proving ground, it can also be a time to cut loose.
A number of senior players shaved their hair into mohawks, presumably in building camaraderie for the season.
Black said he didn’t know anything about the new look, but he did get a little quip in.
“I told them that if they really wanted to look stylish, they should’ve shaved it all off,” said Black, whose head his completely shaven.
Great Bend travels to Hoisington on Friday night to kickoff the regular season at 7.