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Aug. 26, 1998

ONE MORE PRACTICE: As Billies Travel To Lampasas For Scrimmage

      One final chance to practice against someone other than their own teammates before the regular 1998 campaign begins awaits Fredericksburg High School football players this Friday night, Aug.28, when they travel to Lampasas for a second and final pre-season scrimmage.
      Coming on the heels of an initial practice game with Burnet here this past Thursday, the Lampasas workout in Badger Stadium will get underway around 5:30 p.m. for freshmen and junior varsity players.
      Both Billie squads will actually be in action at the same time as they spar with their Badger counterparts while working from the 40-yard line on either end of the stadium.
      Then around 7 p.m., the two schools' varsity units will take over, working the length of the field for the next two hours or so.
      Under an arrangement worked out between FHS head coach Jerald Klett and Lampasas' Glen Jones, varsity first teams will each snap the ball 15 times before second strings take over for a 15/15-play go-round.
      If times allows, first strings will return for 10/10 series before the tempo shifts to close out the night with two 10-minute running quarters.
      Friday's trip to Class AAAA Lampasas is expected to be a greater challenge for the Billies than this last week's scrimmage with Class AAA Burnet.
      "This should be a tougher scrimmage for us," said Klett who noted that the 4-3 Badger defense" likes to bring their linebackers at you," while their wing-T offensive unit will test Fredericksburg with bootleg and sprint-out plays.
      It was the outside game that initially gave the Billies problems this past Thursday when Burnet came to town for the sea-son's first scrimmage.
      "We started off kind of sluggish," said Klett of the FHS varsity's gridiron baptism. 'They changed their game up from what we were expecting and gave us some different looks. But that was good, and I thought our kids responded well after we settled down."
      Burnet was able to move the ball fairly well in the early goings of Thursday night's scrimmage, while the FHS offense found during the first part of the encounter that the smaller school could also hold its own on defense.
      "We needed to work anyway on some areas, like picking up blitzes, and we soon got the overall concept," Klett said. ~e just needed to refine some areas and get our technique down a little better."
      Klett said he was pleased at the FHS varsity's overall quickness and thought that the team's tenacity for rushing to the ball on defense was "a real plus point".
      On the whole, he said the Billie varsity hustled very well for a first scrimmage and seemed to be moving a little quicker than at this stage last year.
      One FHS player who has not been moving a little quicker this week is senior tackle Dale Woerner who sustained an ankle sprain in the Burnet scrimmage.
      Still, Klett said the returning starter from last year's district championship team is responding well to treatment and may even get in for a few plays at Lampasas.
      Meanwhile, another returning starting senior -- defensive end and offensive lineman Sergio De La Garza --has resumed practice following a hamstring pull that he sustained over a week ago and could scrimmage Friday.
      However, senior free safety Justin Jenschke is questionable with a rotator cuff problem with his right shoulder.
      Due back after missing the Burnet workout with a hip-pointer injury will be junior fullback Aaron Cox who resumed workouts this week.
      When the Billies travel to Lampasas on Friday, Klett and his coaching staff will continue their search for help on the line.
      "We don't have a lot of depth up front, and so we were encouraged to see that some of our younger players, including several sophomores, did so well against Burnet," he said.
      Considering everything, Klett said the Billies may be a little ahead of last year, although there are the usual snags in the first scrimmage like having problems with snap counts and fumbles.
      "But this is correctable stuff; it's just a matter of having the discipline to do it right," he said. "If we keep working hard, I think good things will happen."
      After this weekend's visit to Lampasas, the Fredericksburg varsity will be back on the road the following Friday, Sept. 4, to officially open the 1998 season in Llano.
      Then follows the Billie varsity's home opener on Sept. 11 (Parents' Night) against Bandera.
      After that come three tough pre-district bouts against Smithson Valley (there, Sept.18), Clemens (there, Sept.25) and Dripping Springs (Homecoming, Oct. 2).
      A chance to get things off on a winning note toward capturing their school's fourth straight district championship ensues the following week when the Billies host Boerne on Oct. 9.
      From there, the schedule doesn't get any easier as FHS must take on four more potential playoff contenders in Medina Valley (there, Oct. 16), Alamo Heights (here, Oct.23), Uvalde here, Oct. 30) and Kerrville (there, Nov. 6).
      All 10 FHS varsity games will be played on Friday nights starting at 7:30p.m., while junior varsity and freshmen games will get underway at varying times each Thursday night.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

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GOOD PASS BLOCKING pays off for Fredericksburg varsity quarterback T.J. Theis as he launches a downfield pass during Thursday night's scrimmage with Burnet at FHS Stadium. Watching behind the Billie backfield while waiting for their turn to play are Heath Holloway (23) and other Billie teammates.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

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ONCE THEY FIGURED OUT how to deal with Burnet's outside game, the Billie varsity defensive unit gave up very little yardage during Thursday's scrimmage at FHS Stadium. Here, Fredericksburg defender Jamie Reeh (18) eludes a block to wrap up the Bulldog quarterback for no gain.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

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BILLIE VARSITY tailback Manuel Gonzales (34) looks for help from teammate Luis Lopez (10) and other Fredericksburg High School blockers while coaches Scott Immel and Jerald Klett react to the play from their vantage point behind the FHS backfield during Thursday night's first pre-season scrimmage at FHS Stadium against Burnet.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith

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TROUBLE IN THE BACKFIELD is faced by FHS varsity quarterback T.J. Theis as he tries to elude a Burnet defender during Thursday night's scrimmage at FHS Stadium. The Billies were credited with putting up a tough show in the practice game that precedes one more scrimmage in Lampasas this Friday, Aug. 28.

-Standard-Radio Post Photo by Barry Smith