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Five things to look for at the annual Blue-White scrimmage
August 22, 2014 - Andy Heintz
Marshalltown football’s annual Blue-White Scrimmage will take place tonight at Leonard Cole Field.
The event will begin with an address from MHS Activities Director Craig Huegel at 5 p.m. Several sub-varsity programs will scrimmage after that and the varsity is slated to take the field for 2 20-minute periods at 7:30 p.m.
The rosters, which were again drafted by the leadership council, were released to the media on Thursday and here are five things to watch for heading into the final Friday night before the lights come on for real next week.
1. Quarterback battle
The competition at quarterback appears to be down to senior Austin Kluver and junior Peyton Williams. Kluver is the only QB on the White squad, according to the roster that was released, while Williams and sophomore Spencer Dempewolf are both on the Blue roster.
Kluver seems to have the edge in replacing Dylan Diveney under center, but Williams will give the coaching staff a look when the bullets fly.
2. Sophomores climbing the depth charts
There appears to be several sophomores who could factor into playing time this year for the Bobcats and the key position of note is running back where both Avery Brooks and Reese Hageman are on the varsity scrimmage rosters.
Brooks will team up with junior returner John Espinoza on the Blue squad, while Hageman and Jake Perdue are the White team tailbacks.
An interesting note, last year’s No. 1 tailback Joe Rebik, a junior, is now listed on the scrimmage roster as a wide receiver.
Nothing is official until the lights come on for real next week but it appears the Bobcat coaching staff is still trying to figure out how to get the best athletes on the field at the same time.
Rebik may still be the top tailback on the roster, but I will be watching to see if there is a potential future for him at wide receiver. Brooks caught my eye on media day as a guy who “looked the part” so I will be anxious to see how he looks in live action tomorrow night. Austin Tullis, a 6-foot-5 sophomore tight end, also has cracked the varsity lineup and will dress for the Blue squad Friday night.
There are only nine seniors total on this year’s roster so, like 2013, head coach Aaron Shipley may be counting on more sophomores to contribute right away. A total of 18 sophomores are listed on the varsity scrimmage rosters, 10 on the Blue squad and eight on the White.
Returning all-stater Blair Van Staalduine will miss the first three games of the regular season for the Bobcats, but Shipley said his role on the defensive side of the ball may change in 2014.
I am going to be looking to see how much Van Staalduine is used in the scrimmage and how his role is changing. He is listed as a defensive lineman for the White squad as opposed to a rush linebacker.
4. Jordan Smith
Shipley called Smith one of his most improved players at “media day.” Smith will play for the Blue squad tomorrow and will have Williams and Dempewolf as his QBs.
But his 6-foot-5, 203-pound frame will give Offensive Coordinator Adam Hoop a mismatch on the outside this season. I will be watching to see how much he has improved as he wasn’t able to see much action last year as a junior.
5. Running games
The Bobcats biggest issues last year were in the running games on both sides of the ball. They rarely established a run game on offense and had major trouble stopping the opposition’s running attack on defense.
Shipley told me on media day that he has put a lot of his attention to the offensive and defensive linemen during fall camp.
The Bobcats return some quality talent on the lines and I will be watching how that talent has developed through Shipley’s first full offseason and if the numbers in the running game will improve.
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