Counting down to kickoff

Bears begin season with scrimmage, opener six days away

Posted: Sunday, August 02, 2009

JUNEAU - The Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears began the public portion of their quest for another Alaska football state championship on Saturday with the annual Red and White Scrimmage at Adair-Kennedy Park without many fireworks, and, luckily, no major injuries.

JDHS coach Bill Chalmers was less than thrilled with the way the scrimmage went. The first-team offense scored on two of four drives, but also had problems holding on to the football.

"The scrimmage has one goal, and that's to find out how we look in simulated game situations," he said. "When the starting offense was out there, they fumbled the ball away twice, and you don't want to do that. You can't do that, period."

Chalmers also didn't think the first-team defense performed up to its capability, especially up front where he expected the defensive line to control the line of scrimmage.

"Our defensive line didn't dominate the way we thought they would," he said. "The secondary looked good. We're getting a lot of repetitions, and that's good. The more repetitions we get, the smoother it's going to be.

"Without the scrimmage, the first game would look like this, and then we'd be in big trouble."

Freshman quarterback Phillip Fenumiai looked good at times, but still has work to do. He completed five passes, including one for more than 40 yards to Chris Holloway that nearly went for a touchdown. The receivers also dropped a couple of balls that would have gone for big gains. The offensive line performed well, as Fenumiai wasn't sacked and had plenty of time to get throws off.

Fullback Jack Perkins scored the first touchdown from about seven yards out after Holloway's big catch, and running back Matthew Maka went up the middle for about 17 yards on the second score.

One of the biggest goals of an intra-squad scrimmage is for players to get reps while avoiding injury. Receiver Eric Fagerstrom reaggrivated an ankle sprain early in the scrimmage and didn't return, but he shouldn't miss too much time, if any.

"He's had a bad ankle," Chalmers said of Fagerstrom. "He hurt it the first day at the Oregon camp. He said it was fine, but he turned it again today. It looks like he's walking OK on it now, though."

Chalmers said there are a few other players out right now, but there have been no major injuries thus far and everyone is expected back at some point.

"We've got some dings and bruises, so we hope that everybody gets back," he said. "We've had as many as six guys out for practice last week. But those are off-season injuries we call them - they didn't work hard in the off-season and now they're paying for it. Their conditioning doesn't allow them to do what they need to do so their body breaks down.

"But by the time we get into the meat of our schedule, we hope to have all of our people back and playing well."

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