The final week of live preparation has passed, and area coaches have had their final looks at the players before the games start to mean something.
There were plenty of contests throughout the weekend, but a few stuck out as good measuring sticks for area teams.
Southern Columbia at Montoursville
Friday night's much-see scrimmage featured Southern Columbia traveling to Montoursville. It was a test of two possible league and district contenders, and, for the most part, Montoursville coach, JC Keefer seemed pleased with the Warrior's progress.
"It went pretty well," Keefer said of the scrimmage. In an effort to get the most out of the game, Keefer and Southern head coach, Jim Roth, elected to run ten plays on each side instead of running a more conventional scrimmage.
"It's a good test for our team to face a team like Southern Columbia to help see where we are at. We think we're going to have a good year compared to last season," Keefer said. "We have many things to improve on, but we definitely didn't walk off the field feeling like we are far away from where we want to be."
Cameron Karschner highlighted the day for the Warriors, as he pulled down five catches, with two going to touchdowns. Clay Stoner was also all over the field making plays for the defense.
"We were just trying to get reps and that's what Jim and I agreed on," Keefer said. "Cameron Karschner caught some passes and got into the endzone. Stoner is just relentless."
Jersey Shore coach, Tom Gravish, made an interesting point when talking about the team's final scrimmage before opening the season Friday. And that point was, outside of the offseason workouts, he's only been with the team for two weeks of camp.
But the two weeks have seemed to be enough, as Gravish took positives and negatives from Friday's final tune-up before opening play.
"There were some positives, but the biggest was not having anyone injured," Gravish said. "There are still some things we need to work on. I've been with these guys for two weeks and they seem to be learning the system. We think we can get better every week."
Gravish also commented on the team's unity, which seems to be strong area that compliments its ability to learn from mistakes.
"We've got a lot accomplished and we can only get better," Gravish said. "The team's approach everyday is great. They bring a lot energy. Both the players and coaches haven't been flat at all."
South Williamsport at Bucktail
Believe it or not, but as some area teams struggle to get kids to come out for football, South Williamsport hasn't run into that problem at all.
"The kids had a great camp," South Williamsport coach Chris Eiswerth said. "They worked really hard. We have over 40 kids on the roster, which is a big accomplishment for South Williamsport. I'm excited for the year and excited for the kids."
The Mountaineers season inched closer to the first Friday night kick off as it scrimmaged Bucktail over the weekend. Eiswerth, who has spent most of the summer working with the team in the weight room, sounded pleased with his team's progress.
"Everything went extremely well, the kids did extremely well," Eiswerth said. "Defensively the kids played hard. It's definitely the strength of the team. Guys have worked hard in the offseason and it shows."
And competing against Bucktail, a playoff team from last season, Eiswerth was really impressed with the defense. South Williamsport opens its season at home against Bloomsburg Friday.
Muncy at Wellsboro
Wellsboro's final scrimmage, a home contest against Muncy, left plenty for head coach Steve Boyce to contemplate before opening the season Friday.
"They weren't ready for the game today," Boyce said of the scrimmage. "They had some ups and downs in the early part of it, but they lacked that intensity. For some reason, we don't play well in day games."
The Green Hornets, who will be sporting a much more fierce looking Hornet on the sides of their helmets this year, struggled to move the ball.
Despite the team's downfalls, Boyce was still positive, saying the team's unity will help it through difficult situations this year.
"We've been through a lot of adversity, and they won't turn on each other," Boyce said. "It's helps make better things happen on the field. We struggled with it last year, at times, but that helped in overtime wins."
North Penn at Montgomery
Despite what has been a difficult week for Randy Boone and the rest of the Montgomery football program, Boone walked away from Saturday's scrimmage with nothing but praise for his depleted roster.
"It went well for only having 16 kids," Boone said. "The kids played with a lot of heart and determination, and I was impressed. The kids had to play everything, defense and offense."
Although the team's struggles are going to be a sore point throughout the season, the remaining players competed hard against North Penn.
The departure of players has left a hole in the middle of the team, which plenty of players have been willing to step-up and take advantage of.
"Some of the kids might not have got much playing time and they've stepped up," Boone said. "We have a lot of sophomores and freshmen and they are loving it. They are happy to have a chance to get into the lineup."
Hughesville at Mifflinburg
"It's going well, we've a lot done with two weeks of camp," Hughesville coach Andy Brown said. "We're a little further ahead than last year."
The improved Spartans took on Mifflinburg over the weekend, and Brown continued to seem pleased with the team's progress.
"The kids have caught on well," Brown said.
Hughesville, which scored a monster upset over Bloomsburg last year to spark a postseason run, has a solid core of senior leaders, which Brown says will be the team's biggest strength.
"We had two scrimmages, and there were good things in both and things we need to work on on both sides of the ball," Brown said. "Our experience is a strength. We have a good group of seniors. We've been through a lot."
Other scrimmages over the weekend:
Williamsport at Shamokin
Warrior Run at Central Columbia