Countdown is on: Jimmies first game six days awayWith the season-opener just six days away, Jamestown College football coach Shawn Frank got a good look at his team in game situations on Friday, albeit against themselves.
By: Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
With the season-opener just six days away, Jamestown College football coach Shawn Frank got a good look at his team in game situations on Friday, albeit against themselves.
The Jimmies held a full-pad scrimmage at Rollie Greeno Field with Game 1 of the season set for Friday, Aug. 24 against Rocky Mountain College in Miles City, Mont.
Up until this point of training camp, the Jimmies have managed to stay healthy for the most part. Not everyone played in Friday’s scrimmage. For example, the standout 1-2 running back tandem of Lance Johansen and Matt Mithaugen were healthy but were held out and watched from the sidelines.
Recently named starting quarterback Gus Ramasco, a sophomore from Winnemucca, Nev., and the first-team offense looked crisp, which was noteworthy considering the defense does return several key pieces in the likes of preseason All-American cornerback A.J. Downs, safety C.J. Costello and defensive lineman Andrew Hammond amongst others.
So to sum up, so far, so good.
“Big picture-wise we have a long way to go, but I have been really pleased with our players and our coaching staff in the way we’re working and making progress. … We’re getting after it and we’re seeing good results,” Frank said.
In his first season as head coach, but no stranger to the program — this is his 10th year on staff — Frank has tried some new things in terms of practice approach and scheme.
“We’ve been really adamant in how we approach things from a sports-psychology standpoint. We want to be fresh physically and mentally as we approach the season, so we went to a 2-1-2-1 practice schedule, and I like the results because I feel like we’re as healthy at this point in the season as we have been in a while,” Frank said.
The 2-1-2-1 approach meaning two-a-day practices one day, then one practice the next.
“For it to work we needed everybody to buy in, to be committed because it’s still about getting your work done, being efficient and learning every single day,” Frank said. “There’s no shortcut to get to where we want to be. … Ultimately, the proof will be in the pudding.”
The Jimmies return 18 out of a possible 26 starters, which includes special teams. The offense scored a handful of touchdowns Friday, while showcasing new offensive coordinator Tim Belmore’s offense. The look is different: the quarterbacks are under center more, but they do incorporate elements of the spread.
“The last three or four days the offense has really made nice strides. The rhythm, timing, how physical we’re playing … Coach Belmore really has them coming along pretty good,” Frank said.
Kickers Ryan Benke, a former Blue Jay, and Craig Anderson were also sharp. The two were perfect on field goal and extra-point attempts. Anderson will be in his third season as the Jimmies’ punter.
The focus now turns to Rocky Mountain College, which started 5-3 last season, only to lose its final three games in the Frontier Conference, considered by many to be the top NAIA league in the country.
“Anytime you start building towards that first game there is excitement and anticipation,” Frank said. “But you do still have to be focused on improving and getting better both individually and collectively and I thought we did that today.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com