By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.–Monday marked the end of the treacherous two-a-days for the McKay Royal Scot Football team; but the ending of what is known as ‘Hell Days’ by most, is bittersweet to some.
“It kind of sucks because I like being out here twice-a-day, its fun for me,” said Manny Miranda.
“It’s kind of exciting,” added Matt Jarding on the two-a-days. “I thought of them as bad as the rest of the kids, I just saw them as an opportunity to get better basically. It’s more disappointing than exciting to me.”
But, as one chapter of a long book that is the season; another opens as Thursday brings in the Varsity Jamboree in Wilsonville.
The Wilsonville will feature the Wildcats of Wilsonville, who lost to Ashland in the 5A State Semi-Finals in 2015, a 6A playoff team in Willamette and Gresham.
“This is important that we go out there and compete and show what we’re made of,” said Miranda. “It doesn’t matter if we’re undersized, it matters how much heart and how hard we’re going to work and show how we’re not going to give up like the Old-Way McKay.
“We’re not going to quit until the last whistle blows.”
Leading up to this jamboree, it’s about sharpening what they’ve learn said Head Coach Josh Riddell.
But Riddell is even excited to see his team go to battle against those who aren’t they’re own.
“I’m excited, I know the kids are excited as well,” he said. “Out here, we got our base stuff in now. Now coming in, it’s sharpening those things we have in and it’s sharpening the inside zone, outside zone, the counter.
“And now we understand our concepts, our base concepts, and now we’re trying to build on those base concepts and keep moving forward. Our guys are excited, I know they’re excited and hit some other people besides some Royal Scots and it’ll be fun come Thursday.”
As for JV and the freshman, they’ll have their own scrimmage Saturday at McKay High School in part of the Green and Gold Days at the High School.
With the team walking off the field, Jarding stays behind and join the lineman who were doing some extra conditioning at the end of practice.
In one of his cleats, a feather. A tradition of sorts that Jarding and former Scots player Andre Kipko had going prior to Kipko’s injury.
“When Andre Kipko used to play football, it was kind of our thing,” said Jarding. “He doesn’t play anymore because he had a pretty bad injury and he never really recovered from it. So I like to keep the tradition going in the name of him.”
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Photos of Freshman-JV and Varsity Practice (Pictures By Jeremy McDonald)