After nearly two weeks of hitting each other in prac-tices, the four area high school football teams finally get a taste of outside competition starting today.
In 11-man ball, Sweet-water goes to San Angeloâ€™s Bobcat Stadium this evening for its opening scrimmage against San Angelo Lake View, while Roscoe is at home to take on Haskell. Sweetwaterâ€™s scrimmage is set to begin with the JV and freshman teams at 5 p.m., with the varsity taking the field at approximately 6:15, according to Mustang coach Shane Mobley, while Roscoe will begin its skir-mish at 6 p.m.
Blackwell paid a visit to Westbrook at 8:30 this morning for its first scrim-mage, and Highland â€” ori-ginally scheduled to take on Blackwell â€” will instead host Rotan on Saturday with a start time of 10 a.m.
While Blackwell has been a playoff team the past two years, Sweetwater, Roscoe and Highland all enter 2014 with a similar goal â€” trying to end postseason droughts. All three came extremely close in 2013, missing a chance to go the playoffs after losing their final regular season games.
Sweetwater has not made the playoffs since 2008; Highland last went to the playoffs in 2009; and Roscoe â€” which like Highland and Sweetwater regularly made the playoffs from the 1990s through 2008 â€” hasnâ€™t gone back since 2010, following a streak of 13 straight post-season appearances.
Mobley said Sweetwater will run four separate series tonight with its No. 1 and No. 2 units while trying to answer questions in some key areas. Offensively, the head coach said he will be focused on line play and having an effective running game to help open the pas-sing lanes for the Mustangsâ€™ fleet of receivers. Mobley noted that a UIL has approved a rule that basically requires high school teams to have a 40-second clock between plays, so â€śitâ€™s going to be a faster paceâ€ť this year,â€ť he said.
Mobley said Sweetwater will stick tonight on defense with a basic 4-3 set. â€śWeâ€™ll evaluate to see that we are lining up right. The second thing is tackling, and then weâ€™ve got to be better at making reads and reading our keys. Those are the top three things,â€ť he said.
Sweetwater plays its sec-ond and final scrimmage at home next Thursday when its hosts Clyde at the Bowl.