Along with the host Cherokees, Tellico Plains, Meigs County, Sweetwater, and McMinn Central all stepped in to continue to install passing offensive and defensive schemes.
After what first-year Cleveland coach Ron Crawford felt was a bit of a slow start, the Blue Raiders picked it up later in the afternoon drawing praise in the postgame huddle.
“We competed better. We competed better late than we did early. When you compare the way we played early to the way we played late, I thought we played with more energy and a bit more passion. Obviously, as we got more reps we started understanding what we were doing on both sides of the ball,” Crawford said as the Blue Raiders ambled off the scrimmage field. “So, hopefully we gained a little bit of confidence in our schemes.
“It was a good day of work for us and overall it was a really positive day for us.”
With last week’s continuous rains forcing cancellation of the only scheduled competition for Cleveland, the Raiders were glad to break the routine of regular practice to shake off some more of the winter rust in live action engagement.
“This was our first organized scrimmage and I think it was fun for them. You could tell we had a little energy at the end and our guys had fun. We played 25 guys and everybody got a lot of reps. It was a lot of fun,” said Crawford.
When the more than two-hour multischool pairing off came to a close, Crawford said he felt the Raiders made some real progress as they came to grasp more understanding of schemes and sets.
“I thought overall we improved on both sides of the ball. There were some things we didn’t do. We didn’t throw our screen so that limited part of our passing offense. But, obviously we got better on our down-the-field throws.” he said. “Defensively we got better at adjusting coverages to motion and things like that. We put our hands on more balls defensively as the game went on and started understanding our concepts better on offense and defense. It was a good day of work for us,”
The Blue Raiders will take today off and come back in for a round of testing before a three day weekend. Crawford and staff with have the team back on July 23 to begin two-a-days before traveling to Signal Mountain on July 24 for another round of 7-on-7 competition. The Raiders will dress in pads July 30.
“I thought we improved today. It is by no means where we want to be. But, it is a start,” Crawford said of the Raiders’ day’s work. “It was a positive day.”