Local football teams open this weekend

Every local team hopes to come out of its preseason scrimmage injury free. It’s the first opportunity for football teams to hit someone other than a teammate, and the only tuneup before the start of the regular season.

And the long-awaited regular season starts tonight. Most of the area coaches believed their teams performed adequately, although every positive was mitigated by something that needs improvement.

In Norwich last weekend, Sherburne-Earlville and Bainbridge-Guilford joined the four-way scrimmage that also included Whitney Point. Some area teams have year-to-year rivalries such as Greene vs. Oxford and Bainbridge-Guilford vs. Oxford. Sherburne-Earlville, who is entering its tenth season in Section III, has not played any local teams other than UV-Edmeston since its shift to conference play up north. One could see the intensity lift when the Marauders exchanged blows with B-G, and especially Norwich. “There was some pretty good hitting,” said S-E coach Mike Jasper. “(Norwich) got us for one play early in their series, but after that, we did pretty well. We had the ball for a short series on offense, but weren’t able to do much.”

Norwich coach John Martinson asked just one thing of his team: To play physical. Did the Norwich team please its coach? “We had great intensity, and the coaching staff was pretty pleased with how hard the kids played,” Martinson said. “The scrimmage was helpful for us.”

Bainbridge-Guilford, the smallest school at the scrimmage, had varying amounts of success. “I was pretty pleased with the way it went,” said B-G coach Tim Mattingly. “Our first series against Norwich, I though their defense smacked us in the mouth pretty good. Then we did okay. We were working on our basic stuff, and just trying to get better at that.”

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