The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 18, 2013

Nobody wins a scrimmage

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — High school football teams will finally get a chance to hit someone else for a change when scrimmages start across the state later this week.

But remember the adage of the late Harvey Griffin, who once said “nobody wins a scrimmage.’’

A scrimmage, especially the first one, is a glorified practice. The good thing is you’re doing it against someone else, which gets the juices going.

With some exceptions, the score is not kept on the scoreboard, and for good reason.

Don’t mistake a scrimmage for a game. Coaches are looking to find what they need to work on. The plays they run aren’t necessarily designed to score or make first downs, but for practice.

If they had success with one play, they probably won’t run it again.

Everyone gets a chance to play and show what they can do, much like an NFL preseason game.

The scrimmages, though, will be more important for some teams than others.

For a Timberlake, coming off a 3-7 season, the returning starters have to prove themselves again to head coach Brian Severin, who has declared all positions open.

For a team with an established lineup, the one goal might be to avoid injuries. There’s been more than a time or two when a season might have been lost because a key player was hurt in a scrimmage.

The fans win, too.

Admission is often a towel or a bar of soap.

At smaller schools, there’s usually a party-type atmosphere before or after the scrimmage.

The players might have watermelon some places and others, a dad or two might have some hamburgers on the grill.

At multi-team scrimmages, teams get to rotate and see different styles of play. This might mean there would be two scrimmages going at a time.

Makes you hungrier for the start of the season on Sept. 5.

Luck of the numbers

One reason why coaches always say luck is a big part of a successful season.

Pioneer didn’t have any luck. The Mustangs, currently in Class A, petitioned to play eight-man football. They missed the cutoff by 1.06 students. PHS had an ADM of 141.21. Canadian, No. 1 in Class B, had a 104.15.

Take the ADMs, which determine the classifications for the 2014-15 football seasons and the razor thin margin of being the biggest school in one class and the smallest in the other:

6A Division I/6A Division II — Putnam City, No. 16, I, 1,733.66; Lawton, No. 1, II, 1,733, difference .66

6A/5A  — Claremore, No., 32, 6A, 1246.06; Del City, No. 1 5A, 1241.78, difference 4.28

5A/4A — McGuinness, No. 32, 5A, 677.50; Miami, No. 1, 4A, 668.70, difference 11.2

4A/3A — Bristow, No. 30, 4A 494.12; Mannford, No. 1, 3A, 491.54, difference, 2.58. Note: two private schools were booted up to 3A.

3A/2A — Perry, No. 56, 3A, 308.41; Kansas, No. 1, 2A, 305.44, difference 2.97. Note: Lincoln Christian was booted up to 3A.

2A/A  — Ketchum, No. 57, 2A, 186.10; Kiefer, No. 1, A, 184.88, difference 1.22.

B/C  — Prue, No. 40, Class B, 87.77; Fox, No. 1, Class C, 87.60, difference .17.

Medford had the bad luck to have a higher ADM two years ago when the football districts came up. It will be playing in Class B this season with an ADM of 70.88, which ranks the Cardinals No. 19 out of 36 schools in Class C.

Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.