The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Football: Time For Take Off

  • Coaches, fans get first hand look at local squads in preseason scrimmages
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  • It's by no means a measuring stick, but what local football coaches Jason Roper and Brandon Hampton get out of their pre-kickoff scrimmages says more than what most people might actually think.
    The Purple/White game Friday night in Harrisburg was about conditioning for Bulldog head coach Jason Roper, while Eldorado's Brandon Hampton eyed on his his teams sharpness in "Meet The Eagles."
    "The great thing about the scrimmage game is the kids get the chance to feel what it's like to playing and getting back in the huddle in an exhibition like this. It's all about conditioning, snap-after-snap, rather than running sprints to get back in shape. We've actually been conditioning a lot more than normal to try and get ready for Week 1, knowing that Mt. Carmel is going to be a team that will go no-huddle and throwing the ball."
    Hampton attributed to conditioning being a big part of Eldorado football this upcoming season. Noting that he's seen first hand some drills kids weren't able to complete last year, but had little trouble doing this year.
    "In a situation like this, we like to come out healthy. We were able to do that and I think that's really important. For me, I wanted to see how clean or sharp we were when we lined up. We didn't have very many penalities, we didn't put the ball on the ground and guys knew where they needed to be."
    Hampton added as much as he knows his players enjoyed a night like they had Saturday, it too was his favorite part of the year.
    "We had our junior pro team playing (Johnston City) prior to the festivities. There was music playing, there was smoke in the air from the tailgating and most of the fans stuck around for the varsity scrimmage."
    Despite some work being done to Taylor Field, complete with the resurfacing of a new track, fans drove out to pack the stands in support of the Bulldogs.
    "It's nice that the community comes out and supports the kids like this," Roper said. "It's not really a competitive enviroment, it's more of watching thier son or family member play. It was great to see the turnout we had Friday."
    Harrisburg and Eldorado both take to the road Week 1 of the season starting Friday, where the Bulldogs will play at Mt. Carmel at 7 p.m., while the Eagles travel to Sesser-Valier to take on the Red Devils at 7 p.m.
    Michael Dann can be reached at mdann@dailyregister.
    Twitter: @spydieshooter
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