By John R. Schirmer
With fall camp set to open July 30, the Nashville Scrappers are wrapping up the busiest summer they’ve had under Coach Mike Volarvich. Counting 7-on-7 and team camps, the Scrappers have participated in eight days of activities as authorized by the Arkansas Activities Association.
“That’s the most we’ve done since I’ve been here,” Volarvich said. “That’s a lot of reps. We got better over the summer.”
The Scrappers have participated in three team activities during July, along with five in June.
Following the Arkansas Activities Association dead period, the Scrappers competed in 7-on-7 at Malvern where they went 6-1, losing to Lakeside in the semifinals. “I’m really happy with the way we competed,” Volarvich said. “It was a brutally hot day. We competed well.”
Nashville participated in another 7-on-7, this time at Lake Hamilton. Again, they were 6-1, losing in the finals.
“We had two good days. I’m really happy with how they pushed through the heat,” Volarvich said.
The final event was a team camp at Lake Hamilton. The Scrappers participated in 18-minute games with a running clock. Their opponents included Pulaski Academy, McClellan, Lake Hamilton and Fountain Lake.
“We didn’t have a great day,” Volarvich said. “We were a little tired. It was a long summer, and we didn’t compete well” at the camp.
The Scrappers wrapped up their summer in the weight room and in conditioning this week and last.
Fall camp will begin Monday.
Under AAA rules, teams work out in helmets only next Monday and Tuesday before putting on pads. The first few days will be a review of summer, Volarvich said.
The Scrappers are in a “quick countdown” to the season opener against Watson Chapel Monday, Aug. 20, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The team will wrap up the first week of camp with media day Saturday, Aug. 4. The Scrappers will conduct a scrimmage after media day concludes.
The Back-to-School Bash will be Friday, Aug. 10, at Scrapper Stadium.
The Scrappers will face El Dorado in a scrimmage Monday, Aug. 13, at Southern Arkansas University. The date also marks the first day of school in the Nashville district.
The following Monday, Aug. 20, the season will begin against Watson Chapel.
“Then we have almost two weeks off before Hope” on Aug. 31, Volarvich said.
There are pros and cons to the early season opener, according to Volarvich. By playing in the Zero Week game Aug. 20, “We lose two weeks of practice. Week Zero still has the same start date for practice.”
There are also positives, Volarvich said. “It’s almost a coaching cliche that you show the most improvement between week 1 and 2. We’ll have a chance to break down the mistakes of the first game. We’ll have extra time to really work on what went wrong and make corrections. We will still have time to game plan before Hope.”
By starting the season early, the Scrappers will have an open date Friday, Sept. 14, the week before the District 7-4A opener against Arkadelphia at Nashville. “That will give us extra time to game plan and heal up,” Volarvich said, before hosting the defending Class 4A state champions.