WALKER VALLEY RECEIVER Bryce Nunnelly hauls in a touchdown pass from Kolten Gibson during a 7-on-7 passing scrimmage against Boyd-Buchanan Thursday, inside “The Corral” at Walker Valley. (BANNER PHOTO, RICHARD ROBERTS)
The Walker Valley Mustangs got in a little preseason work Thursday evening. with a 7-on-7 scrimmage against the Buccaneers of Boyd-Buchanan. The controlled passing battle was the third for the Mustangs. who have one more 7-on-7 lined up, a four-way with Ooltewah as one of the adversaries. “It’s to work our pass coverage and pass routes. It’s a good opportunity to work on the passing game and defending against the throw. We don’t do as much as some people, but we like to get about four to five 7-on-7 situations,” said Ryan.
The full contact scrimmage season begins July 31 in a five-way at Walker Valley. The Mustangs will host Knox Catholic, East Hamilton, Chattanooga Central and defending state champion Knox West. Walker Valley will continue its scrimmage season Aug. 7 at Sewanee against Tullahoma, before winding up with Franklin County on Aug. 11. The Mustangs open the regular season Aug. 20 against Bradley Central at “The Corral.”
Ryan said he likes the one-on-one 7-on-7s because it gives both teams the chance to at situations multiple times if the situation calls for a closer look. “We’ve done this with Boyd every year since I took over. We like to do this one because if they want to see something again, or we want to see something again, we can do it. ... I like to have at least one of this type 7-on-7 where we can get some individual work in. The no-rushing-the-QB scrimmages also give quarterbacks and receivers a chance to become acquainted with individuals moves and rhythm. “That’s part of it. It gives the quarterbacks and receivers the chance to get familiar with each other and work on timing. It’s definitely beneficial,” said Ryan. “It also gives us a chance to work on our different coverages, reads and zones. We rotate out with our ‘ones’ and ‘twos’ (first and second stringers). Everybody gets a chance to go. It’s been a good night for us. It’s what we wanted, to get some good work in.”
Ryan said the scrimmages also give coaches a chance to get an early eye for who wants to play football and who is going to go all-out for 10 weeks, beginning the third week in August. "It gives us a look at who is going to run the routes hard and who is going to go up and get the ball in coverage,” he said. “It also gives us a look at who is going to come out here and defend, and who is going to be a lockdown guy who can go up against the big receivers and shut them down. You definitely get an idea of who is going to be ready to play when you put the pads on.”