By Jeremy McDonald
WILSONVILLE, Ore.– Thursday was more than bylines in newspapers or on a website, more than what the scoreboard said at the end of it, it was the starting of what these boys from McKay put forth to this point the last two weeks, the last few months of the summer.
Jovi Davis once said that putting on the pads for practice was like falling back into love, but this had to be at a higher standard in a game environment though it may not count towards the win-loss column right?
“It might be just a jamboree, but like in practice it’s different,” started Davis. “You finally get to put pads on but your hitting family. Here, you can care less who it is. There wearing an opposite jersey, you want to hit them…It’s that easy.”
After a slow start, the offense of the Scots picked up some steam versus Willamette as Jarding capped the 12 play offensive session with a scamper for a jamboree score.
The defense had a strong showing versus the Wolverines, holding them to no score as they enter the first break.
“I think we were nervous in the beginning,” said Noah Tavera on the start of the scrimmage. “And we had a lot going for us. I mean we’re not the biggest team out here so I’m pretty sure we had some nerves.
“But once we got going, I thought we did pretty well and we competed pretty well with all the other teams.”
They didn’t shy away from host Wilsonville, a 5A Semi-Finalist in 2015 that had McKay’s number in last years jamboree.
Defensively, the Scots significantly slowed down the high paced offense of the Wildcats that dropped 48.5 points a game to 1 score in 12 plays as Jarding and the offense showed off their wheels for a pair of scores.
“We didn’t really think about it, we knew what we’re coming up against coming into this jamboree,” said Tavera. “So we just came out here and played hard and we all played as a team so we came out hot and fired.”
Against Gresham, they were faced with the adversity of keeping their cool against the Gophers.
Doing so, McKay’s defense picked up several loose balls and batted several passes down as they’re offense went up against Gresham’s tough defense.
Finishing up the jamboree strong, a siked out of his mind Jarding describes how important it was to start the season strong with this performance.
“That’s what we needed,” said a very emotional and very amp’d Jarding. “We need that to start this season and now we’re going to go to West Salem and we know, we know that we can compete with any team in the State.”
Head Coach Josh Riddell is just as excited as Jarding and the rest of the Royal Scots after their performance, but knows that they are still 0-0 and still have a long ways to go before West Salem next Friday.
“I got chills right now because of the way the kids battled,” said Riddell. “They all played for each other, they were all flying around and they all are excited to be out there and have a chance to make plays and you can see it. You saw with the guys and everyone built off the other guys.
“Defensively flying around. Offensively we’re making some plays and it’s contagious, it’s like what those kids said, ‘Hey we got some success today’ and the kids are excited and I’m excited right now. I can barely control my emotions right now, it’s a good feeling. At the end of the day, we’re still 0-0 and we got to get better every day.”
Better every day. One play at a time. McKay can rest on this performance yes, but they know they must get better before taking on the Titans on the fame Black Turf on September 2.
Jarding points to starting stronger.
“Starting. Starting hard, we need to start hard,” said Jarding. “It happens every year. We come out every year, we’re a little nervous. If we would’ve started with the same intensity, I guarantee the scores would’ve been here (points down) to here (points high).”
For Riddell, it comes down to carrying and building off this momentum moving into Week 1 of the season and into gameprep.
“I think it’s huge,” said Riddell on building the momentum. “Really, to be honest, I didn’t know how we were going to come out here today. I didn’t know how we were going to compete, I didn’t know how we were going to be composed. I saw some awesome things out of this group today and we just got to build on it everyday.
“From now on, we saw some great things and now we got to build on those great things and keep it going. Keep the boat going a bit, keep everybody getting some success and being positive and building on it from here.”
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!
Photos By Jeremy McDonald