One of the keys to having a good Friday night is making sure there are no surprises.

The coaches dissect the film and pass on what they find in meetings, but the real key is seeing it firsthand.

That’s when the scout team steps to the forefront.

The players might not get their names announced during the game on Friday night for making a tackle or scoring a touchdown, but the prep work they do for each game is important to the process.

“It’s huge to get a good look from the scout team,” Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said. “If you do then it can be very beneficial. If not, then we are not giving the first team a true look.”

The scout team for the Pride (11-0) tried to mimic the spread and wildcats formations offensively and some of the defensive fronts No. 9 Red Mountain (6-5) uses in preparation in Friday’s Division I quarterfinal game at Karl Kiefer Stadium.

At its best a scout team gives a glimpse of what to expect before it actually faces it. When lining up against a team for the first time, as the Pride does this week, it can be vital.

“Our scout team is good enough to play us tougher than some of those teams we’ve played this year,” Mountain Pointe junior running back Paul Lucas said. “They give us a good look and we know how important they are.

“They are every bit a part of the success as the first team.”

The scout players also know it might be their only chance to make a real impression on the coaching staff with the Pride’s lineup on both sides of the ball essentially set in stone. A good showing on scout might give them a chance to get in some reps in a game a little bit earlier than usual.

And like a college program that earns an extra month of practices with a bowl bid, the longer the Pride stays in the postseason the more chances the scout players are in front of the coaching staff to lay the foundation for a starting role in 2014.

More importantly, the idea is to make sure there are no surprises on Friday night when the opposition breaks the huddle.

“We have to deliver for the defense so they know what to do,” junior backup quarterback Garvin Alston said. “As long as we are in position to make the blocks and the receivers run the right route we are doing our job. We need to give them an idea of what to expect otherwise there is no point of running it.”

Alston is among the top scout players along with lineman Gilbert Saenz, running back Isaiah Banks, safety Dale Black, running back Tyree Shivers, and a few others.

The players take pride in it and the coaches make it competitive. This time of the year they don’t go live as much as during the regular season, but there is always something at stake.

“Every once in a while we get away with one,” Garvin said. “Our coaches will call a trick play they aren’t ready for. It does get competitive. We have fun with it, but it is all about getting them better.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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