No More Talk – Time To Play Football
The pre-season is over.
The real season begins Friday night for football teams across the state, and the start of the season also brings about one of the most storied rivalries in the state – the Emmetsburg E’Hawks and Spencer Tigers.
The rivalry has been a traditional meeting of the two clubs, with close, hard-hitting games the rule, rather than the exception over the years.
But this year is a little different.
For starters, this is the first game out of the chute for both teams, after many years of meeting each other the second week of the season. And, add in the fact that officially, Emmetsburg is playing as a Class 1A school this year against the 3A Tigers, and some folks might wonder about the matchup.
Don’t be concerned – classes mean nothing for this rivalry. While some might think that starting the season with Spencer might be daunting, Dunlap doesn’t agree.
“I don’t think it matters when we play Spencer, at the start or at the end of the season,” Dunlap said. “Our kids and their kids always get up to play each other in any sport, and its always one of the better rivalry games in the state.”
The traditional rivalry game, no matter when played on the schedule, always boasts a good, vocal crowd that gets behind their teams. This year will be no different.
“Spencer has great team speed on their offense,” noted Emmetsburg Head Coach Mike Dunlap. “They have a very athletic offensive unit and will be a good team like they always are.”
For the E’Hawks, last Friday’s pre-season scrimmage gave Dunlap and Assistant Coach Joe Carter a lot of looks at people in positions, and an overview on what the E’Hawks can accomplish, as well as need to polish.
“I though our linemen got off the ball pretty well in the scrimmage,” Dunlap noted in reviewing the scrimmage. “Our backs all ran hard, but what really seemed apparent was that it was a very physical scrimmage.”
Of course, with the positives, there have to be things to work on, and the one Dunlap, Carter and the coaching staff are focusing on is execution.
“We need to be sharper overall on our assignments, knowing and executing those assignments,” Dunlap said.
With those things on the agenda for the week, preparations for Friday’s opener against the Tigers have been intensive.
“Spencer will work offensively out of the doubles and the tight end-doubles sets,” Dunlap noted, “And they’ll try to run the dive and dive option plays as welL”
Spencer will have a new quarterback from last season,
giving the E’Hawks another consideration defensively.
“They have a new quarterback and he has good speed and throws the football well,” Dunlap noted. “Overall, their entire offense is very athletic.”
Spencer’s defense is nothing new to the E’Hawks, according to Dunlap.
“On defense, they’ll present a look like the 6-2 alignment,” Dunlap explained. “They do like to do a lot of blitzing, too.”
With the season at hand, it will be important for the E’Hawks to start off strong and ideally, with a victory.
To do so, Emmetsburg will have to do a couple of things, according to Dunlap.
“We are going to have to play good, assignment defense – know our assignments and execute them,” the E’Hawk mentor said. “And, it goes without saying that our offense will have to get off the football every play.”