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Scrimmages set for Friday night

Prep football fans will get their first look at the favorite area teams under the Friday night lights for some preseason scrimmages.

Second-year Princeton coach Jesse Snyder and the Tigers can’t wait.

“We are extremely excited about getting under the lights on Friday,” Synder said. “Our main goal is to get our young men reps on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. We are going to put them in a variety of game situations and see how they will respond. My biggest goal for all levels is to continue to compete every day and push one another to be great every day.”

The Tigers will run a set number of players with the first-string offense and another set with the first-string defense. The Blue-White Scrimmage will cap the Meet the Tigers night at Bryant Field, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Next week, the Tigers will venture into Three Rivers Athletic Conference play for the first time with a crossover contest at Morrison.

Two area teams will continue to tune up for their season-opening clash at Storm Stadium in Manlius where the Bureau Valley Storm will entertain the Hall Red Devils in a Three Rivers crossover contest. The Storm bested the Red Devils 35-27 in last year’s opener on the way to a 4-5 finish.

Storm coach Jeff Ohlson said he plans to treat their first taste under the lights as a practice session, running through some offense and defense plays.

Hall’s Red-White Scrimmage at Nesti Stadium will start up at 5:30 p.m. Friday with the F/S followed by the big boys at 6:30 p.m.

BV homecoming: Former Storm standout Nate Swanson has joined the Bureau Valley coaching staff, working with the lineman. The former BCR Player of the Year spent time in the University of Illinois football program, returning home to work on the family farm.

Ohlson said he’s going to have one of the tallest staffs around with the 6-foot-8 Swanson and student teacher Alex Coppejans, a 6-5 all-state player for Annawan’s state basketball team in 2009. Coppejans will work with the underclass ends and DBs.

Can’t get enough: Charlie Waca spent the past three decades coaching football on the sidelines with stops at Tiskilwa, Princeton and Kewanee. He wasn’t going to let not having a job this year keep him away from last week’s first practice. He made the trip to Plano where his son, Chris, is on the Reapers staff this year. The Wacas spent the past five years together at Kewanee, where Chris was head coach for four before resigning.

This time, the elder Waca even remembered his anniversary date that coincided as it often does on the first day of fall practice. But of course he spent it on that first day of practice.

Waca started out coaching at his alma mater, Tiskilwa in 1981 and joined the Princeton staff staff in time for the 1989 State runner-up run.

Another step: Area football coaches in general were OK with the IHSA’s new acclimation period and reduced practice time this fall. They are hopeful the IHSA takes the next step and moves up the first day for practice two days to a Monday start, allowing them to coincide the first day for full pads with a more favorable day for doubles on a Saturday. This year’s first full day in pads was Tuesday.

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