VALDOSTA –– The little things are really big things.

The Vikings hosted the Thomasville Bulldogs in a 7-on-7 scrimmage Wednesday morning at Martin Stadium.

Both teams fought through the rain, making catching and throwing passes difficult. 

Though it won’t appear on a regular season record and it wasn’t an actual game, the competition will certainly benefit both teams. 

As with any scrimmage, it provides coaches and players to gauge preparedness. 

“We get a different look, both offensively and defensively,” Head coach Randy McPherson said. “It’s a chance to compete against somebody else. Really comes down to, defensively, playing the pass. Offensively –– executing. I think it’s definitely good.”

Bulldogs quarterback Ronnie Baker and tight end Payten Singletary combined for several completions and gave the Viking defense trouble during the early parts of the scrimmage. 

After game-planning with defensive coordinator Byron Slack, the Vikings were able to gain a stable footing and made the adjustments to shut Singletary down. 

“(Thomasville) went really fast and I thought our kids responded to it well,” Slack said. “We got the calls in and they were able to get lined up so that’s always a good thing. They went super duper fast today which is something that has been a little but of a thorn in our side the past couple of years.”

The Viking offense, like the defense, had to overcome adversity during the scrimmage. Several overthrown routes and dropped passes were disheartening signs. Jacurri Brown and Tristin Bohler were confined to the pocket and not able to use athleticism as a saving grace when routes were covered. 

However, the Viking offense showed the versatility in the red zone—completing passes to different receivers on different routes for would-be touchdowns. Because of the faux scoring, it is difficult to gauge success or failure for the scrimmage. 

But, at this time of the year, success can be measured in means other than scores or statistics. 

Every rep that is had –– in competition or practice –– without injury is a win. 

Every additional conversation with the coaching staff is a win. 

Every drill, play, workout and film session is a win. 

Why? 

Because it moves the Vikings that much closer to being ready for the season –– ready for the pursuit of the next championship. 

But first, they have to make it through the summer months –– where true champions are made.

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