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Spring Hill Panthers will learn from scrimmage video, coach says

By Jack Stallard
Aug. 17, 2013 at 11 p.m.

Friday's scrimmage against Troup was an important first step for Spring Hill, but first-year Panther head coach Mark Sartain knows that what happens next for his team is going to be a big key to the 2013 season.

Sartain and his coaching staff watched video following the scrimmage, and the players will study the video this week as the Panthers prepare for a Thursday scrimmage against Paris. The season opener is less than two weeks away, with Spring Hill hosting Pleasant Grove on Aug. 30.

"It will be good for the kids (studying video), because the players get to see themselves from the coach's perspective," Sartain said. "They get to see when they take the correct steps and when they don't, and they get to see what happens when they don't close on the backside on defense and that lets an athletic quarterback reverse field. The quarterbacks will be able to see the reads they missed. This will be the biggest week of growth for us."

Sartain said the scrimmage featured the usual number of positives and negatives, but he was pleased with the way the Panthers stacked up against an athletic Troup team.

"There was nothing unusual or out of the ordinary. We had the normal positives and negatives, and the negatives are all fixable," he said. "I think we're slightly ahead of schedule, but nowhere close to where we need to be. Still, to play a team like Troup – a team that has a couple of Division I kids (quarterback Blake Lynch has offers from Baylor and Mississippi State) … to line up in our base offense and base defense with no game plan and to do some of the things we did … I was pleased."

Defensively, Sartain said ends Hagen Tucker and Nick Irwin and linebacker Chris Fisher had strong scrimmages.

"Hagen had an interception for a touchdown and several other good plays," Sartain said. "Nick Irwin was in on a lot of plays in the running game and had a couple of sacks, and Chris Fisher is going to be tough to handle. He played fast and physical. We've got to tackle better, but you could tell they knew where they were supposed to be and what they were supposed to do. I was pleased with the way we flew around on defense."

As promised, Sartain and his staff kept a close eye on an offensive line that is still working through several combinations to find the right fits.

"We showed a good understanding of our scheme on the offensive line, but we need more consistency and intensity," the coach said. "When you are learning, you tend to think too much and that slows you down."

Intensity will be preached during practice as the Panthers prepare to scrimmage at Paris on Thursday.

"Paris is athletic, like the teams in our district. We need to see the kids grasp what we're trying to do and to do it at a higher tempo," Sartain said.

The format and time for the Paris scrimmage will be determined later in the week.

(Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports)



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