LONDON — Things are going as planned so far for the North Laurel Jaguar football team, according to coach Chris Larkey.

Like most teams across the state, the Jaguars have been participating in passing scrimmages since returning to the practice field on July 10.

According to Larkey, North Laurel continues to gain experience while getting in shape during the process.

“I think everything is going pretty good,” Larkey said. “We look at the passing scrimmages a little bit differently here. Passing scrimmages is what they are — in my opinion, they’re overrated. A lot of coaches I’ve talked to has agreed.

“A passing scrimmage is only good for allowing us to get in shape,” he added. “Some teams go out there and compete, and think it's the World Series. It’s basically nothing. You’re still 0-0 once the regular season begins. We’ve played these games, and take each scrimmage for what they are. We want this stuff to help us get in shape. That’s why they are good for you.”

Larkey said his team has surprised at times during their passing scrimmages. North Laurel picked up a win over Tates Creek at Eastern Kentucky, but followed with losses in games that Larkey felt they should have won.

“We beat a very good Tates Creek team at Eastern Kentucky,” he said. Heck, they ended up making the championship game. We got a big win, and then we’d follow it up with a disappointing loss, though.

“The biggest thing is that we went up there and had fun,” Larkey added. “Like I said, we also use these scrimmages to get into shape, which gets us prepared for the season.”

Larkey said his team is scheduled to have three more passing scrimmages this week before focusing on the upcoming regular season.

North Laurel is coming off a 4-6 campaign that saw the Jaguars barely miss the Class 5A playoffs, but bigger and better things might be in store this fall.

“I think our guys are better than what we were last year,” Larkey said. “I don’t think we’ve got overall speed like we’ve had in the past. We’ve got some fast guys, though. We just don’t have enough. We just have to play smarter, and that’s what we did in our scrimmage against Tates Creek.

“We are missing some skill stuff, so we are going to have to have some guys going both ways,” he added. “I think our offensive line has the potential to be very good. Like I said, we are ahead of where we were last year at this point, which is a bonus. We are just hoping things continue to go well.”

North Laurel is scheduled to open the season on the road against Paul Laurence Dunbar on Friday, Aug. 23.

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