For the second year in a row the Ballinger Bearcats and Winters Blizzards scrimmaged in the final preseason week after a brief renewed regular season rivalry. This year the Winters Blizzards traveled to Ballinger to face their opponent at Bearcat Stadium.
In the JV scrimmage there was some excitement on both ends as the running backs for both teams tried to put on a show. Even though there were some nice drives for both teams the Winters JV was ultimately unable to finish it off and put the ball into the end zone. Ballinger had no such problems, however, by placing the ball into the hands of Ethan Pratt who showed off surprising footwork for someone that has never played football until this year. A former high school wrestler he was able to show off his balance every time the Winters defenders tried to stop him. Freshman running back Bradyn Bowman also looked very sharp at running back with the 2nd team offense. Garrett Zertuche stood out a a favored target for both quarterbacks of Ballinger, Weston Rollwitz and Ryan Elliott For Winters Sema’Jae Jackson was the workhorse for the JV. On the defensive side of the ball Adam Winn, Fernando Falcon and Jonathan Gutierrez were very noticeably making plays. The JV scrimmage would finish with Ballinger having scored 4 times while Winters was shutout. According to Coach Lipsey, “The JV played very well. They executed what we needed them to do and looked very well doing it. I am very proud of them and how they played.”
In the varsity half of the scrimmage Winters took the field on offense and behind the legs of Senior Quarterback Chris Diaz the Blizzards were able to drive down the field and score a touchdown. After the methodical 21 play drive the Bearcats took the field on offense and were able to hit multiple big plays for scores. Quarterback Xavier Nunes looked much more comfortable in the backfield this week than he did against Jim Ned in the first scrimmage, hitting multiple receivers throughout the contest.
The scrimmage would finish with Ballinger having scored four times and Winters having scored once. In the live quarter Ballinger was able to hit a big play touchdown to senior receiver Jaeden Coy for the lone score.
Ballinger came into the contest hoping for some improvement off of last week’s scrimmage that had some hiccups. It was easy to tell this week that all of the new players within the team are starting to find their footing. In the first scrimmage, against Jim Ned, Ballinger looked to be rusty. Against Winters it looks like the rust was knocked off. “Against Jim Ned you could tell that the kids were still adjusting to all the new changes. All the new coaches, new system, as well as new players that have come in.” Lipsey said “We executed much better against Winters and it looks like all the pieces are starting to come together.”
Winters struggled in this contest, but did some good things as well. Ballinger has some very legitimate team speed this year. Outside of Albany and possibly Hamlin, it is likely that the Blizzards won’t face anyone with near the speed of Ballinger. The Blizzards were hit tremendously by injuries last season, forcing many young players to step up. This could be the year that the former youth of Winters starts to pay off in the win column.
This week the Winters Blizzards will travel to San Saba to take on the Armadillos on September 1st at 7:30PM. The following week September 8th, the Blizzards will be home to host the De Leon Bearcats. Last season the Blizzards defeated San Saba and were defeated by De Leon.
This week the Ballinger Bearcats will host the Comanche Indians September 1st at 7:30PM. Next week the Bearcats will again play host to the Grape Creek. Both games were loses for Ballinger last season.