LaGrange holds scrimmage at stadium
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
With a new season set to begin in two weeks, the LaGrange Grangers took a test run.
On the same night the season would have begun if the calendar hadn’t changed, LaGrange held an intra-squad scrimmage on Friday night at Callaway Stadium.
The scrimmage gave LaGrange’s players an opportunity to get under the lights and compete before the regular season begins on Sept. 4 at Upson-Lee.
“Whenever you compete against yourself, you see little battles here or there, and win or lose, you can tell that kid can do this or that kid can’t do this when you turn the lights on and you get a crowd here,” said Matt Napier, LaGrange’s first-year head coach. “I was pleased with the effort. It was good to see them come out here and compete and have a good night.”
Napier wanted to make sure every player on the roster got a chance to get on the field, and that mission was accomplished.
“We’re excited about the future, about everything that went on,” Napier said. “Every kid on our team got to play. So it was a great opportunity to get after it.”
The scrimmage started with the first-team offense facing off against the second-team defense, and running back Kale Gibbs and quarterback Jaylan Brown each had touchdown runs.
Later in the scrimmage, Asa Leath had a touchdown run, and Gibbs finished the scoring with a 20-yard scoring run against the first-team defense.
Gibbs, who should be a busy player as the featured running back, had a big night with the two touchdowns and a handful of other long runs.
“He’s special,” Napier said of Gibbs. “He does a good job. He’s really coachable, and he’s so smart. He’s explosive and super-talented, and he’s put on good weight in the offseason.”
While Gibbs has plenty of experience playing under the lights on Friday night, the same can’t be said for sophomore Jaylan Brown, who made his debut as LaGrange’s quarterback.
“While he doesn’t look like a sophomore, and he doesn’t run around like a sophomore, he is one,” Napier said. “That was good for him. He has thrown the ball really well. It wasn’t quite his best performance throwing the ball, but he’ll get there and he’ll keep improving.”
One of Brown’s completions went to freshman tight end Parker Shattuck, who made a nice catch in traffic before breaking a handful of tackle attempts before being brought down just short of the goal line.
“He’s super-talented,” Napier said of Shattuck. “He’s just one of those kids that has the physicality it takes to play at a young age. I’m looking forward to coaching him for a long time.”
While there were some offensive highlights, Napier was also pleased with the performance of a first-team defense that delivered a strong effort.
“The defense had a really good night. I’m proud of them,” Napier said. “The great thing about that is, we’ve had some struggles defensively at practice. It’s good for them to come out here and show out on Friday night.”
LaGrange also worked on special teams, with the punt and kickoff teams getting some time on the field, and place kickers Micah Prophett and Carlee Roland both made field goals.
Also, the Gardner Newman Middle School football team held an intra-squad scrimmage before the high-school players took the field.
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