By Jeremy McDonald
WOODBURN, Ore.– This years Jamboree was unique for Gervais as the two teams they faced were 5A squads three-to-four times they’re enrollment sizes in Woodburn and The Dalles.
The Boys in Blue were slow out of the gates against the Bulldogs of Woodburn, but their defense and the legs of Peter McKinley came to life against the Riverhawks.
McKinley mentioned that Saturday’s scrimmage was crucial for his young Cougars, giving them the opportunity to hit someone and work on their communication.
“The biggest thing is coming out against someone else’s one’s,” he said. “We haven’t seen too much of that because of our low numbers. We got a lot of good hits, good wrap ups. We just got a lot of communication errors that we need to make up, that we have to fix.
“We haven’t had a game like situation since last October, so it’s really nice to get out here and hit. Get that practice before we head into real play. Getting that communication from the coaches on the sidelines, stuff like that…we just have to get more use to that.”
Gervais Head Coach Josh Crawford enjoyed how his team did in their first time out this season.
“It was good,” started Crawford. “We started off slow, but that’s the first contact we’ve had to go against anybody as a one. We’re going against our two’s and half the time, half of our two’s. So I’m happy with it.”
Out on the field, McKinley described the jitters of playing as something they slowly got over as the scrimmages progressed.
“I think it was jitters, like me especially, I was very jittery against Woodburn,” started McKinley. “Then after about the first 10 plays, I kind of woke up and I think that was most of us just getting the jitters out and getting into the game like situation of, ‘play is over, get back to the line’ instead of in practice, a play happens and then we get coached on what happen.
“The jitters came out and we got more confident and more comfortable.”
The best thing about these jamboree’s though is that it acts like a bookmark to see where you’re at to start the process of getting better for the season and the vocal point for the next week for the next games.
Crawford knows that one of his team’s focal points this upcoming week from what he saw before watching film is the progression of his young offensive line.
“I mean we’re still young, we got two seniors, a junior and two sophomores starting,” said Crawford. “We’re fairly young when we’re playing against a lot of seniors on a lot of teams, especially these guys. Woodburn has a lot of seniors.”
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52 Scrimmage Pictures (Pictures By Jeremy McDonald)