DELPHOS – It was a tough year for football in Delphos last year as Jefferson and St. John’s combined for three victories last season.
The two teams began the process of turning things around as they engaged in the first scrimmage of the season Friday.
The two coaches were encouraged with what they saw from their respective teams in the scrimmage with St. John’s producing more highlights and scoring than its cross-city counterpart but that is not to say Jefferson had some its own positive moments.
But for the two head coaches it was a chance to see their teams perform for the first time against an opponent.
For Jefferson’s Ben Rahrig it is his first scrimmage as the head coach of the Wildcats and the team’s fourth coach in four years.
“We are stressing playing physical and playing the whole game and that is what I saw here today,” Rahrig said. “They came out aggressive, and we made some mistakes here and there and I thought we got tired at the end but I thought it was a good first scrimmage.”
Rahrig understands that these players have seen a lot in their last four years as they have had to adjust to the styles of the previous coaches and the first-year head coach admits it is going to take time.
“We have some good days and some bad days but we are getting better every time and by the time we get into week one I think we will be ready,” Rahrig said. “I can’t imagine being one of our seniors who has had four coaches in four years and you are literally learning a new offense and defense every year.
“I am extremely excited the way they have bought in. They came out. They worked. You know what we don’t have a whole lot of numbers but they are giving me everything they’ve got so I appreciate that out of them.
Being a first year head coach, Rahrig admits that he is also learning as well.
For Todd Schulte, who is entering his 21st season at Delphos St. John’s, it was an opportunity to see his new quarterback perform and get his players some live action after two weeks of two-a-days.
“I thought we did some good things,” Schulte said. “Obviously, it is the first scrimmage so we will go look at the film and see where we are at. Our goal every day is to get better, and I guess the thing I was really happy with was our conditioning, and I thought we were in pretty good shape.”
Schulte sees a number of individuals playing on both sides of the ball, and they will need to be in top shape to take on the rigors of playing multiple minutes on game day.
The Blue Jays scored on four different occasions with Brady Parrish leading the way. The senior will be behind center for St. John’s this year and replaces Jared Wurst. Parrish saw limited action last season as the quarterback.
Schulte said perhaps the most important thing that came from the scrimmage is that there were no significant injuries to report.
“You get into this scrimmage after practicing and everything goes a lot faster and speeds up, and I think we handled that pretty well but obviously we have a ways to go and continue to work hard. We came out healthy, and I think they did to and that is another goal too.”
The Blue Jays open the season Aug. 30 with a trip to Elida. Jefferson begins its season on the road against Shawnee on Aug. 30.