By David Fong
TROY — Matt Burgbacher feels kind of like Monty Hall on the old television game show “Let’s Make a Deal” — he can’t wait to show everyone what is behind Curtain No. 1.
“I love Saturday,” the Troy football coach said. “I think it’s a great way to conclude our first week of practice. It’s something I know the kids look forward to every year.”
This Saturday, beginning with the Troy Junior High School football teams at 9:30 a.m. and the high school football team at 10:30 a.m. at Troy Memorial Stadium, Troy will host its fourth annual “Scarlet and Gray” intrasquad scrimmage. The controlled contest will see Troy’s teams divided up and scrimmaging against one another.
It’s the first opportunity for members of the community to get a preview of the upcoming football season, which Burgbacher said is a big reason behind his decision to hold these public events at the beginning of every season.
“I know it’s something the kids look forward to every year — it’s always good to get back on the field at the stadium — but it also give the community the chance to come out and see the kids,” Burgbacher said. “It’s important for us to give that opportunity to our fans, our families and our community.”
Burgbacher said it will be a tightly controlled scrimmage lasting roughly one hour. A “Meet the Teams” event will be held for both the junior high and high school teams at 11:30 a.m., immediately following the high school scrimmage.
“It’s a great conclusion to our first week of practice,” Burgbacher said. “We are going to keep everything very basic. We are going to go out and hit, but it’s not like we are going to beat the snot out of one another. Yes, we are competitive, but at the end of the day, we are still on the same team. The other nice thing is we control everything. I blow the whistle when I want the play to stop.”
Following the scrimmage, there will be a Troy Football Alumni Association Golf Outing at 1:30 p.m. at Miami Shores Golf Course. The event, sponsored by Stoltz Motors and 84 Lumber, will serve not only as a fundraiser for the football program, but also as a way for former Troy football players to reconnect. The event had been put on hiatus for several years.
“It’s a great opportunity for former players to get together and have some fun,” Burgbacher said. “We feel as though our alumni are a very important part of our program. Troy football is built on tradition. We want to make sure they understand how much we appreciate all they have done for the program.”
Troy will play its first scrimmage Aug. 11 at Lima Senior, then host Dunbar Aug. 17 in its final scrimmage of the preseason. The Trojans open the regular season at home Aug. 24 against Belmont. Troy is coming off an 8-3 season in which it won its second-straight Greater Western Ohio Conference American League North Division title in a row and also made the Division II playoffs for the second year in a row.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong