Varnado heads to Independence for multiple-team scrimmage

Published 7:24 am Friday, August 19, 2016

The regular season is just two weeks away, and this evening, Varnado will continue to prepare for opening night by heading to Independence for a multi-team scrimmage at 6 p.m.

“We’re looking to see which young guys are ready to step up,” Varnado coach Scott Shaffett said. “We got a look in the spring game. We’re kind of getting back in that mode. It’s three months later and we’re want to see where these guys are now from spring and see if anybody else is ready to step up and who’s ready to play. We play our first regular season in two weeks.”

Shaffett said he’s seen tremendous improvement in his team from the spring game until now.

“The biggest thing is you’ve got (quarterback) James Williams, who sat out last year (with an injury). He’s got the experience from the spring game,” Shaffett said. “He’s gotten stronger and he’s gotten his rhythm back. He’ll improve every week. With him, it’s just a matter of timing and experience.”

Shaffett said anytime his team plays, the coaches want to see how physical their players are going to be.

“Is our offensive line going to be physical enough to handle two really good ball clubs? Is our defensive line going to be physical enough? You’re looking to see who is going to deliver the licks and fire off (the line),” Shaffett said. “We’ve got two weeks to get ready for our very first home game. 2016 has started. Friday will kind of give us a measuring stick.

“I know we’re not ready for week one against St. Patrick’s yet, but Friday we’ll be able to tell if we’re ahead of the game or not or if we’re lacking. We’ll fine tune. Hopefully, we’re ahead of the game.”

The scrimmage features several teams, including Independence and St. Thomas Aquinas. Ponchatoula will compete in the junior varsity portion of the event.

Last season, Varnado went 6-4 in the regular season and reached the second round of the Class 1A playoffs.

Varnado’s first regular season game of the 2016 campaign takes place Friday, Sept. 2, at home against St. Patrick of Biloxi, Miss.