HUNTSVILLE – A successful spring camp will hit its peak on Friday when the Sam Houston State Bearkats take the field for its annual Orange-White Scrimmage. The action is set to begin at 7 p.m. at Bowers Stadium.
The Bearkats have been drilling since early March in preparation for the upcoming 2017 season with approximately 90 players slated to suit up for Friday’s intrasquad matchup. The team will divide up with the offense facing off against the defense in a game which will utilize a modified scoring system.
The offense will be able to score points via touchdowns, field goals, PATs and explosive plays; meanwhile, the defense can rack up points via touchdowns, takeaways, sacks or stopping the offense via 3-and-out or without scoring.
“It’s been a really physical spring to this point. We are a little banged up and there will probably be a few guys who we hold out,” head coach K.C. Keeler said. “Overall, we have accomplished what we wanted to accomplish in trying to get back to a physical mentality both offensively and defensively. I’m really happy with the two coordinators and how they have implemented new offenses and new defenses and the kids seem comfortable with the new schemes.”
The Kats will mix in a number of scenarios in the game, including 10-play segments beginning at both the 35 and 50-yard lines. They’ll also get looks in red zone, goal line and two-minute scenarios.
The team will mix in some special teams work as well, with a halftime segment scheduled after the first three sessions. During halftime the Kats will honor their 2016 all-conference selections in addition to both the Bob Riley and Stan Blinka Award winners.
With 13 starters and 53 overall letter winners returning, Sam Houston will have plenty of familiar faces on the field on Friday; however, the spring is also giving a number of players an opportunity to showcase their skills to the coaching staff.
“Friday ultimately is a continuation of us just getting better,” Keeler said. “There are a several new players, and some returners, who are getting opportunities. Coree Compton is a great example of someone taking advantage of that opportunity. He’s gotten the chance to get out on the field because of some of our receivers nursing some ailments, and has almost every bit as good as they have played. It’s exciting to see guys get those opportunities and step up in a big way.”
The Kats will have one more practice to close out the spring season following the Orange-White Scrimmage before turning their focus solely to the 2017 campaign. They are set to open up the 2017 season at Bowers Stadium on August 31 against Richmond.