The Mustangs have had seven days to improve over their first performance under 7-on-7 scrimmage conditions. Walker Valley head coach Glen Ryan said the Mustangs did indeed improve with a week of practice, but again said there are certainly areas needing serious work.
Against Hixson last week, the Mustangs suffered through typical first scrimmage mistakes. Against Boyd-Buchanan Thursday, Walker Valley showed improvement on both sides of the ball, but still have much to work on, according to Ryan.
“It (the week of practice) made a big difference. I felt like we looked a lot sharper. We still made some mistakes here and there, but we’re still playing a lot of kids trying to find out who can play where and getting some depth,” said Ryan. “Overall, I felt like there was a big difference from last week. We looked a lot sharper and a lot crisper.”
The Mustangs will take another step toward opening night next week when they add shoulder pads to the mix. So far, practices and scrimmages have been in helmets only under non-rushing conditions. The addition of pads will begin to see which cream rises to the surface.
“I feel like we are headed in the right direction. But, come Monday we will put shoulder pads on and find out a little more of what this team’s got,” Ryan said. “Right now this is two-hand touch and it’s kind of hard to tell. You can look like a million dollars, but if you don’t protect the quarterback it isn’t going to matter. Right now he doesn’t have anybody rushing him.”
As far as Ryan is concerned, some questions are in the process of being answered but there are many yet to be decided. He said he is pleased with the progress made in a short amount of time but the work will continue.
“There are still a lot of question marks, but as far as what we can do up to this point I feel like we are on track and where we want to be at this time of year,” he said. “ We’ve just got to keep plugging and keep working, hope for the best and hope when it all comes down we have more wins than losses.”
The Mustangs have one more 7-on-7 scheduled and will head to Heritage High School in Ringgold, Ga., Wednesday for all-day tournament.