By Andrew Luberda
The Panthers gained some game-action experience in their scrimmage versus Salt River on August 23, 2013. The scrimmage provided an opportunity for head coach Ryan Palmer and his staff to evaluate the team as they prepare for the season opener against Mesa Prep on August 30.
“I think we learned a lot,” Palmer said after the scrimmage. “Our kids got some really good experience and they took some reps – many of them for the first time at the varsity level.”
There are no scores kept in a scrimmage. It’s more important for the teams to work on specific areas of their game that their coaches feel need the most work. For the young Panthers the game-action and competition against other teams is extremely valuable as they continue to develop and improve from day-to-day.
“Anytime you can see a bunch of different teams and get a lot of reps in – it’s always good,” Coach Palmer said. “Every day we’re moving in the right direction.”
Leading up to the scrimmage, Coach Palmer suggested the competition between Nicolaus Cruz and Elias Olmos for the starting quarterback position could be determined by their performances in the scrimmage. For now he’s still undecided and said no announcement would be made until he speaks with both players.
Coach Palmer was pleased to see some players step up during the scrimmage and take control of some open positions on the defensive side of the ball.
“I was impressed with a few kids,” he said. “Eric Oatis and Matthew Zavala as well as Ricardo Ochoa really stepped up on the defense and solidified some (defensive positions).”
With the opener only a few days away the Panthers and the coaches continue to work hard in preparation of the game versus a very good Mesa Prep team.
“We’re going to be busting our butt getting ready for this Mesa Prep team,” Coach Palmer said. “We have a lot of work to do over the next couple of days to get ready for that test.”