TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneer football team had their one and only scrimmage this preseason Friday against Robert C. Byrd at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium.
The scrimmage was set up as each team getting 10 plays on offense and 10 plays on defense with the varsity team getting the first set of reps followed by the junior varsity players.
Robert C. Byrd scored the lone touchdown of the game when the squads had their varsity units on the field.
While being able to see his Bucs make contact and tackle someone else for the first time this season, he was also pleased to his team make it through the scrimmage relatively healthy.
“It seems like both teams got out of the scrimmage without any major injuries,” noted Stoeckle. “That’s a great sign considering we just started hitting last Tuesday and this was our first real contact.”
Stoeckle said he was overall pleased with the effort his Bucs gave during the scrimmage against a Robert C. Byrd team that is expected to be one of the better teams in Class AA this season, including mostly containing the Eagle’s first team all-state running back in Jeremiah King.
“We gave up one big run to King early on,” stated Stoeckle. “We had him in the backfield but he slipped off and got to the outside. For the most part we held him check.”
As with any scrimmage, Stoeckle stated there are things that the Bucs can improve on.
“We have some things to clean up.” remarked Stoeckle. “There are always things to work on, but I felt we did a great job of competing against the Eagles. Robert C. Byrd is the real deal and will be a play-off team this year and I think we were able to compete with them. We have a very young team this year and I think if we keep playing like this as we move forward, I think we will gain more confidence as the season moves forward.”
Stoeckle also said he was proud of his players in regards to how they have responded to all the abnormalities the pandemic has caused during the preseason.
“It’s been a crazy year,” stated Stoeckle. “We have masks on the sidelines and special water bottles for everyone. I just want to commend our kids and coaching staff for being able to adapt and overcome and improvise on all the different situations that have come down from the WVSSAC in regard to COVID-19. We are just happy to be out here playing a great sport.”
The Bucs will open their season at home this Friday as they host Ripley at 7:30 p.m.
The Bucs first three games are at home as they will meet Philip Barbour next Friday and then after having their bye week, they will host Greenbrier East.