Wildcats-Harriman scrimmage

The Sweetwater offense watches a Harriman defender bat down a pass during the two teams’ scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 9.

Sweetwater head football coach Mike Martin was happy with how his team competed against Greenback in its scrimmage last week.

That sentiment was nowhere to be found following the Wildcats’ scrimmage at Harriman on Friday night.

“(I am) very disappointed right now. Very disappointed,” Martin said. “I did feel like we competed last week against Greenback. This is a huge letdown to me. The thing that worries me is I don’t think it’s a huge letdown to our kids. I don’t think it bothered them. We got a ways to go.”

The Wildcats opened the scrimmage with a defensive stop, turning Harriman over on downs. Sweetwater was the first team to notch a touchdown, as senior running back Drew Hicks took a toss sweep into the corner of the end zone.

Following the opening score, the scrimmage turned into a defensive battle, as neither team was able to find much success on offense.

“We take the first drive and execute perfectly and go downfield and score,” Martin said. “Then we are non-existent the rest of the night.”

Martin placed the blame on himself.

“We don’t block a soul, we can’t get a snap, we can’t step the right way,” Martin said. “We can’t line up in the right formation. You name it. We are a very poorly coached football team right now. That comes back to me. We are very poorly coached right now.”

Sweetwater’s head man is in his first year as head coach, but he has served as the athletic director and assistant principal at SHS for several years. Martin served as the interim coach at Sweetwater in 2013 and has been the head coach at several high schools, including Meigs County, the Wildcats’ season-opening opponent.

Even though he is entering his first season on the job, Martin does not think that is an excuse for his team’s performance on Friday night.

“There’s no excuses,” Martin said. “You think Meigs County cares? We open up with them. They don’t care. We are very poorly coached and it was obvious tonight …we got two weeks to try to get better.”

The teams ended the scrimmage with a pair of touchdowns on each side.

Sweetwater’s Ashton Gruenwald scored on the final play of the night. Martin’s thoughts were elsewhere.

“If they want to take a beating, they’ll continue to take a beating in scrimmages and games,” Martin said. “If they want to be coachable and listen, and we have to do a better job as coaches coaching them, because it’s obvious we may be the worst fundamental team in the history of fundamental teams.”

The Wildcats will host the Sweetwater Valley Collision High School Football Jamboree next Friday (Aug. 16) before opening the season against Meigs County.

Martin hopes his team will have a different approach next week.

“You would think we’d want a good showing, I don’t know,” Martin said. “We got four days of practice and then you play in the jamboree. Right now, we went way backwards this scrimmage.

“I’m just very disappointed.”

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