Players Size Up Competition At WVC Media Day
PLYMOUTH — A few of the players walked into the cafeteria at Valley West High School on Thursday afternoon with their jerseys a little tighter than they normally would be worn, the sleeves rolled up a bit higher.
For the players from teams that had already arrived to the Wyoming Valley Conference’s football media day, it gave them the opportunity to eyeball the competition a bit earlier.
And then the players from Williamsport arrived. From that point, the attention quickly turned to running back Trey Potts, who missed all of last year with a knee injury, but is back to being 100 percent with a verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota already tucked away.
Potts, along with players from the other conference teams in attendance, have deemed themselves ready to go as the 2018 high school football season kicks off the weekend of Aug. 24-25.
Teams are currently going through the mandatory heat acclimatization period that will eventually lead to the first official day of fall sports practice on Monday. The first scrimmage date is Aug. 18.
That is something Mike Brennan and Pat Keating would like to see change. Rather than beginning practice on Monday with the scrimmage scheduled for Saturday, the two coaches would like to see the PIAA give them the option of beginning practice on Sunday following heat week, to be able to schedule the scrimmage on the following Friday.
The majority of WVC teams play their games on Friday, and this would give teams a full week to prepare for the season opener, as opposed to having one less day.
The extra day of prep would also give players who get dinged up in the scrimmage another day to rest.
“I talk to my athletic director about this three times a year,” said Brennan, the coach at Hazleton Area. “It gives the kids an extra day to lick their wounds. We have the kids most of the year anyway. We are training them better. During heat week there is no competition to prepare for. I think the scrimmage should be on Friday night, 100 percent.”
Keating, the Valley West coach, said the topic is something he plans on bringing up to the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association at the group’s annual winter meeting. He said he has heard from several local coaches on the topic, and has heard coaches from other parts of the state are in favor of being able to have the scrimmage on Friday as opposed to Saturday.
“I would much rather be able to have our scrimmage on Friday night and have the weekend to prepare for Week 1,” Keating said. “It gives the kids some time off instead of having a short weekend and get back at it. Other areas of the state like that idea as well. I hope we can communicate that as a state association and get that changed.”
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