Sturgis High School football coach Jimmy Lamb noted plenty of positives from Thursday scrimmages against Hopkins, Mendon and host Three Rivers. The offense was able to run the ball efficiently behind a solid line, receivers showed improvement from last season and quarterback Chance Stewart played with an edge.
Defensively, the Trojans made plays at the point of attack, at linebacker and were disruptive in the secondary. Most importantly, past bad habits were mostly nonexistent.
“We were preaching this week to focus on our technique,” Lamb said. “That’s what I cared about tonight. I was looking for guys when they got tired, what were they going to do? Are they going to revert to how they used to play or are they going to believe in the system we have for them? I saw a little bit of both, but I saw some big plays that we didn’t make last year. I saw some enthusiasm. I saw some guys that worked themselves into the starting lineup, I believe. I really enjoyed what I saw tonight.”
Each team’s offense worked with a 12-minute running clock, and Sturgis squeezed in plenty of lengthy drives in the three contests.
“There were a couple of kids on the O-line that impressed me,” Lamb said. “Cole De’Haese did, as well as Taylor Mayo and Ricky Stiles, who maybe I saw play more on defense, but was pretty good offensively. All three of my tailbacks were spectacular — J.D. Bowdish, Max Maher and Matt Phillips all played well.”
Which receivers could be counted on most to connect with Stewart, who is headed to Western Michigan University next year, was one of the biggest questions heading into the 2013 season.
“Luke Summey scored a touchdown,” added Lamb. “Core Baldwin made a nice play on a couple catches. Jack Scheske made a big play and Jack Caywood had some big plays.”
Unlike past years, Sturgis didn’t protect Stewart in the scrimmages. From the way Lamb described the day, his future Division I QB welcomed the contact.
“He had a big stiff-arm touchdown in the first game,” Lamb said. “He took two shots, stayed in the pocket and delivered two strikes. He definitely played with a little attitude today and it was good to see.”
On the defensive side linebackers Jacob Haas and Jack Scheske and defensive back LA. Vasquez stood out, as did defensive linemen Danny Arroyo and Matt Davis.
“Danny hit the weight room this last year and he’s done some things to make himself a contender,” Lamb explained.