By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor
After graduating one of the most prolific and successful senior classes, Shelby varsity football coach Erik Will is pleased with the direction his club is taking, but notes there’s room for improvement.
Friday evening the Whippets hosted Sandusky Perkins and Olmsted Falls in a preseason scrimmage at W.W. Skiles Field at William J. Wilkins Stadium.
“The scrimmage went really well and I felt we competed well,” summed up Will.
A Division II Regional finalist last season, Olmsted Falls returns a number of veterans from that group, noted the SHS coach.
“In the first series, Olmsted Falls got us good and was really physical. Our kids then came out on our first offensive series and matched their physicality,” said Will.
Later in the scrimmage, the participants went down-and-distance.
“We scored a couple of touchdowns and didn’t give up any scores during the down-and-distance,” noted Will.
Following the scrimmage, the coach said “we have some things we need to get better at. We’re about where we should be. If we keep improving as we have, we’ll be alright.”
Will lauded the play of the offensive line, quarterback McGwire Albert and perimeter threats Cameron Stine and Tanner Stephens.
“I was real happy with the play of our offensive line. McGwire is doing real well with his leadership and growth as a quarterback. We’re finding some perimeter guys in Cameron Stine and Tanner Stephens,” said Will.
The secondary was wracked by graduation, but the Shelby coach said it is evolving.
“We’re right where we should be. We have no room to take steps back. We have to continue to move forward,” said Will.
With two-a-days now completed, the Whippets will practice this week from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.
“Two-a-days went very well,” said Will. “The 10 camp days the state allows have helped acclimate players quicker to our system. When practice starts, we hit the ground running thanks to the camp days. Two-a-days is not the grind it used to be as grandfathers and fathers remember.”
SHS concludes their preseason schedule Thursday at Galion in Heise Park. The middle school teams will meet at 4 p.m., followed by a half of full dress rehearsal for the varsity squads beginning at 6 p.m.
Shelby opens the 2018 season on Thursday, August 23, at home against Mansfield Madison.