VMI holds scrimmage in preps for Spring season

LEXINGTON, Va. – Conditioning and situational football were the two focal points for the Keydets as they hit the field for a “THUD tempo” style scrimmage.

On Saturday, the team operated drives in 4 minute sets with the goal of increasing players conditioning for an unique spring season.

“We’re one-third of the way through our Spring training camp which is very unique because generally in training camp you don’t have to go to class and with these new schedules we are going to class. So, it just gives us a little less time to install everything,” said head coach Scott Wachenheim.

The defense certainly brought the heat on what was a chilly morning in Lexington. Former Lord Botetourt defensive back Evan Eller lowered the boom on a play where he had a 10 yard run up before recording a textbook tackle on a run play.

The offense got rolling after a few drives as Reese Udinski looked sharped, connecting with his receivers including former Patrick Henry standout Leroy Thomas, who is coming off surgery for a torn ACL last season.

“He’s close to 100 percent healthy coming off the ACL surgery a season ago,” Wachenheim said.

“I feel fine, I feel like I’m ready to go. But, we are taking precautions with the games coming up,” said Thomas.

Despite the defense being a bit further ahead in its understanding than the offense, coach Wachenheim said he’s excited with what he’s seen thus far.

“I’m very pleased where we are from a football IQ standpoint and execution standpoint. The defense is a little ahead of the offense at this time which they should be and normally are. We wanted today to have some longer drives to test the conditioning of our team which I thought was excellent and we also had to cover situational football,” said Wachenheim.

He emphasized that conditioning will be crucial considering the Southern Conference season will be played in the spring as opposed to the fall, which creates nuances.

“Especially since we’re a tempo offense and we play fast and those two things-- our offense has to be in great shape and our defense has to play more plays. So we have to be in great condition. You have to be in great shape and you have to be mentally tough-- it’s different tackling on a cold day, different throwing and different catching and I think our team has done a great job with all those tests thus far,” said Wachenheim.

The Keydets open the season on Feb. 20 at Chattanooga, the first home game will be on Feb. 27 against Furman.

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.