Mountain Pointe players like JR Plote (82), Chad Papineau (54) and James Withers (27) bring plenty of playing experience back to the program. It allows the coaching staff approach scrimmages with less scrutiny as the staff already know what the players can do. AFN file photo

The football scrimmage is a difficult give-and-take for coaches.

It's a great opportunity to get away from the monotony of daily practice and positions battles to be won, but at the same time there is bit of caution.

Injuries are going to happen in football, but no one wants to come out of a scrimmage in worse shape than before.

When Mountain Pointe travels to Corona del Sol for Wednesday's 7 p.m. start the Pride will be without some starting players.

"We are probably going to hold three or four guys out," Mountain Pointe coach Norris Vaughan said. "They are banged up or just getting back with the team so there is no reason to risk it. We'll probably only play our starters 25 plays or so, get them on tape and see how they look as starters.

"We don't put a lot of stock in the scrimmage." Two of the players expected not to play are senior linebacker Isreal Marshall and wide receiver Garrett Holle (hip flexor). Marshall was recently cleared to come back after a stress fracture in his foot.

"We want to bring them along kind of easy," Vaughan said. "Both of those guys we know what they can do. If not, then maybe we'd be more inclined to get them out there." Mountain Pointe junior quarterback Kyle Faunce is ready to get the ball in the air.

"Coach keeps telling everyone we are going to throw it more than we did last year, and I like the sound of that," he said. "I can't wait to get in a game situation. I want to get in the huddle and call that first play and see what we can do." Vaughan said the team enters the game with nine starters essentially in place on both sides of the ball with a good idea of the other two starters.

It makes the decision to give most of the starters a quick exit from the game easier.

"We are not out there to win the game," Vaughan said.

Desert Vista is making the trip south to Tucson to take on Ironwood Ridge at 6 p.m.

The Thunder are taking a slightly different approach as coach Dan Hinds sees some similarity between Ironwood Ridge and first-week opponent Tucson.

The former returns a quality quarterback in Tyler D'Amore, who threw for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Tucson has Shakir Smith, who had nine touchdown passes and one interception over his final seven games a year ago.

"It's going to be a great test for defense to see if they are ready for to face a quality quarterback," Hinds said.

Additionally, there are a handful of starting positions to be decided and the scrimmage is an opportunity for someone to step forward if not win a starting spot out right.

"We have a bunch guys trying to prove they belong," said Hinds, who is 52-38 in eight seasons at DV. "There are some positions that are undecided. We want to win every time we take the field. It's not what we are focused on, but I'd like to because it can only help."

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