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New Ulm schools hold football scrimmage

NEW ULM — For the first time since 2005 when New Ulm Cathedral, Minnesota Valley Lutheran and New Ulm High School held a combined passing scrimmage at Johnson Field, all three teams got together again for a combined full scrimmage on Saturday at the New Ulm Middle School football field in front of a large crowd.

And all three high school football coaches — Denny Lux at New Ulm Cathedral, Eric Kauffmann at New Ulm High School and Jim Buboltz at MVL — all felt it was worth it and want to see if it can become a regular thing.

“The only reason we did this was because we knew it would be a very good experience with Eric’s team at New Ulm High School and Jim’s team at MVL,” Cathedral coach Denny Lux said. “All of the coaches wanted to give the players some work and get ready for next week. Talking to Eric and Jim after the scrimmage, everyone was pleased with the way all of the players handled themselves. It is not easy when you have three schools but these kids played with each other in youth football on that same field. Now they had the chance to come back years later. It was a good experience.”

All three New Ulm schools open their season on the road next Thursday and Friday night.

Lux said that his team did not make many mistakes the scrimmage gave the Greyhounds a chance to fine-tune both of their offenses.

“We ran both offenses and coach [Jesse] Nosbush was happy with the play of our defensive line and out linebackers flowed really well,” Lux said. “It was a good chance to let our kids get the butterflies out before our first game [at Yellow Medicine East].”

This season, in addition to the Michigan-T offense that the Greyhounds have run in the past, they have now installed the spread offense.

“We have Nick Simon [on our caching staff] who played football at St. John’s and he is bringing some of that spread offense to our team and he is doing a great job. But the new offense will take a while because it is a totally different thing than what we are used to doing with our power running game. But with the [Michigan] T and the spread offense, we are going to go from one extreme to another. So we hope that it puts pressure on other team’s defenses that way. It was good to get Nick in the huddle because when he is on the field he will call that offense.

“We also worked out a couple of players at left tackle and on defense. Jesse has been working on three different guys at linebacker,” Lux said.

Kauffmann though that the scrimmage went good for the Eagles overall.

“It got the players the chance to play against someone else than in practice and get up to game speed,” Kauffmann said.

The scrimmage also gave Kauffmann a chance to give sophomore quarterback Ayden Jensen some experience in his first year.

“He is young and he can do the job.”

Kauffmann said that running back Dylen Carreon looked good in the scrimmage.

“He is a different runner than Cole [Ranweiler] was,” Kauffmann said. “He is more of a north-south runner — he will not give you a lot of flash, but he has a lot of power. And we have A.J. Kauffmann and Marquis Haefner back there with Carreon running some wing spots for us. We are also going to run Ayden a little bit.”

Kauffmann, who has his team om the road Friday at TCU, thought that the Eagles executed well in the scrimmage on offense.

“And we got some good looks on defense as well,” Kauffmann said. “I like what I saw [Saturday] more than I did a week ago. Our back-ups got some good reps in and they impressed me.

“I absolutely want to do this three-team scrimmage each year,” Kauffman said. “It was great to talk with Jim and Denny. We do not have to leave town for this scrimmage. Someone asked me why is a 3A school [NUHS] scrimmaging a 1A school? Here is the deal — you are not going to find a much better 1A school out there than Cathedral. I will tell you that right now. They are better than some of the teams that we may play this year. We are getting challenged pretty well in the scrimmage by MVL and Cathedral. It is good for our community and we had a good crowd.”

Chargers head coach Jim Buboltz said after the scrimmage that his team has a ways to go.

“It gave us a lot of things to work on,” Buboltz said. “We lack the level of physicality in general whether it was on offense or defense. We need a collective unit to be able to do it.”

Buboltz, whose team opens at Dawson-Boyd on Thursday, said that his team misfired on offense in the scrimmage.

“We had a tough time establishing the line of scrimmage,” Buboltz said. “If we are going to mix in the run and pass we need to try and get the right guys in space. We had some positive plays but to me there needs to be a lot more.”

He said that the MVL defense was OK.

“But again it was the collective unit type of thing. All in all it was a good thing that we were able to see what we saw. We have a ways to go but we will get there. We will see how our leaders step up.”

Buboltz also likes the local scrimmage between the three schools.

“I think that football in town will be really good again,” he said. “All in all it was good.”

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