By Dixon Land
The Nashville Scrappers football team took the practice field Thursday afternoon for the first practice of the 2015 Spring campaign under new Head Coach Mike Volarvich. Overall, Volarvich was pleased with the day, but knows that the team still has a long way to go till August.
On offense, Leonard Snell was his usual self, taking to the offense well and seemingly unfazed by different defensive coverages thrown at him.
“We’ve thrown a lot of offense at the guys for the first day-probably more than they are used to, but they’ve responded well,” Coach Volarvich said.
Charles Furr and Trey Hughes both showed talent today at receiver. Furr seems to be taking in Coach Volarvich’s new offensive system in quickly and Hughes demonstrated outside, vertical speed on defensive corners today.
The Scrappers showed poise and experience on the offensive line. Anchored by Kirby Adcock and Joel Thurman at the two tackle positions, the Scrappers did not let Snell get hit once today. Winland Ogden, Dante Conway and Ty Slider also practiced with the first team today. All five positions looked to be handled by experienced Scrappers.
“We have a good nucleus of guys coming back. There’s three or four guys that have taken a lot of snaps up there,” Coach Volarvich said. “They played a lot of football last year, so they’ll definitely be one of the strong points of our team this coming year. They did a good job today.”
Terell Grundy and Lee Scroggins split time at tailback today. With Coach Volarvich’s new system, the base formation will be a four-receiver, shotgun set, featuring a single tailback. Darius Hopkins, a junior who suffered an injury at the end of last season, is doing well and expected to be ready to play in August, however, Coach Volarvich has noted that he will not see much time in the spring with contact drills.
“Hopkins is here, we are just rehabbing his knee some more. We went to the doctor the other day and he said he looked really good and is on track to be back. He’s lifting and running, but we are just trying to keep him out of the contact drills and stuff like that,” Coach Volarvich said. “Some of those other backs did some good things. I thought Terell Grundy did some good things. Very physical player. Lee Scroggins made some good plays as well.”
On defense, the Scrappers showed speed and talent as well. Ignacio Perez and Garrett Gordon made good plays at linebacker, while Fidel Berruquin showed closing speed at a rover/inside corner position.
“I think the defense did a good job today. They flew around real good for day one. We’re pretty simple back on defense right now but Coach Cheshire is doing a good job just lining up and getting those guys to the football. I thought they showed good effort,” Coach Volarvich said.
Overall, it’s easy to be pleased with the first day of spring practice, though Coach Volarvich continues to remind his players and fans alike, “consistency,” he says, is key.
“We had a couple of busts here and there,” he said. “But that’s typical first day and we will get better as the spring goes on.”