With the ending of the first week of practice, five full days of two-a-days in sweltering heat, the Buckhorns made the road trip into Jermyn on Saturday morning under an overcast sky. The mission of this day was to knock off some of the rust of a long off-season, and hit someone other than your own teammate. The Chiefs of Lakeland hosted the Purple Pack for their first live scrimmage of the 2009 Campaign.


With the ending of the first week of practice, five full days of two-a-days in sweltering heat, the Buckhorns made the road trip into Jermyn on Saturday morning under an overcast sky. The mission of this day was to knock off some of the rust of a long off-season, and hit someone other than your own teammate. The Chiefs of Lakeland hosted the Purple Pack for their first live scrimmage of the 2009 Campaign.

“It feels pretty good. We worked hard all week in two-a-days, it feels good to get out there,” said All-State Running Back Joe DeFebo. “I love it. It was great to get out there and finally bang against someone besides your own teammate and really let it out for the first time this season. It feels great.”

With the first scrimmage of the year, comes the first chance for some of the up and coming Buckhorns to take the Varsity field and compete in an intensity filled session. The normal names like Brian Cosgrove, Taylor Newcomer, Christian Capone, The Bruno Brothers; Guy and Frank, but there were some new faces on the field and substitutions on every play to see who fits where, and what they bring to the table. The Purple Pack of coaches had a good opportunity to see what they have, and overall the feeling of the scrimmage was positive.

“The first scrimmage is a lot of fun. It’s a chance for us to evaluate the kids,” said Buckhorn Head Coach Mark Watson. “We had a ton of players coming in and out. We saw some good things and we saw some things we need to do as coaches. If there wasn’t anything wrong, what the heck are we going to coach?”

DeFebo, a bit faster and heavier than last season when he racked up 2,321 rushing yards and 31 total touchdowns was hitting the holes. Newcomer, at fullback, was plowing opponents over, and Chris Ingulli, at quarterback, lofted a nice pass down the sideline to a streaking Nick Halas who hauled in the pigskin and carried into the Promised Land. The offense was starting to click, like a car that has been sitting in the driveway during a long winter, itching to get on the road, back to the season.

“We’re looking forward to it (the season). Offensively we look pretty solid. Defensively we look pretty solid. We have to tie everything together here in the next two weeks and get ready for the first game,” said DeFebo.

With one more full week of practice, and a Friday night home scrimmage game against Crestwood, the Bucks have some things to work on, and some things to fine-tune, as every team in the state does right now, but after a District game last season, the energy and intensity are high in Buckhorn Country.

“I told the kids, ‘you are supposed to make mistakes in scrimmages, that’s why scrimmages are created, so then in two weeks your ready for game-time,’” added Watson. “At times we were very physical, but again it’s a scrimmage. That’s why we play these things to get ready for the following weeks.”

The Bucks will host Crestwood on Friday evening for a 6 pm kick-off on the Shores of the Big Lake.