Takeaways on Monmouth-Roseville, ROWVA/Williamsfield and United from joint football workout

Matthew Wheaton
Galesburg Register-Mail
Members of Monmouth-Roseville's offensive unit line up against United in 7-on-7 workouts on Tuesday at Monmouth College's April Zorn Memorial Stadium. ROWVA/Williamsfield looks on in the background.

MONMOUTH — Monmouth-Roseville, ROWVA/Williamsfield and United met up for a joint high school football workout Tuesday morning at Monmouth College's April Zorn Memorial Stadium.

No Cougars, Red Storm or Titans were tackled but all involved put in plenty of work on the Fighting Scots' artificial turf.

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The main goal in the two hour session was for each respective coach to learn what areas need improved upon, as facing someone with a different color uniform is extremely beneficial.

"No. 1, I was just really excited we got to do it. You spend so much time beating each other up in July against your own teammates and then you do it for three more weeks leading up to your first game, and you finally play somebody else," Monmouth-Roseville coach Jeremy Adolphson said. "Sometimes, you find out something about yourself when you're going against somebody else, so today was great because we were going against other varsity caliber players. You're not going against your own guys.

"It's one of those things where in two hours today you probably got more out of it than you got for the last two weeks of camp by yourself just because of the situations you're in," Adolphson added.

Grant Gullstrand, ROWVA/Williamsfield's mentor, agreed with Adolphson.

ROWVA/Williamsfield football coach Grant Gullstrand (middle) talks to his team after Tuesday's joint workout with Monmouth-Roseville and United at Monmouth College's April Zorn Memorial Stadium.

“Today was good coming out here and competing against good teams that are coached well. It makes us better," Gullstrand said. "It’s nice to not compete against each other the whole time.”

'Good snaps' for prospective starters, subs

Not only was seeing how they fared against foes important for the Cougars, Red Storm and Titans but getting reps for the prospective starters and their substitutes was, as well.

"We had several of our sophomores that are going to be backup varsity guys that got some good snaps for us throughout," Adolphson said. "They made some mistakes but they didn't look out of place.

"At this point in the year, you're trying to build depth before you need it."

And their players' health is always on the forefront of every coaches mind.

Defensive units fared well

For the most part, student-athletes who make up Mon-Rose's, ROWVA/Williamsfield's and United's defensive units fared pretty well in the 7-on-7 portion of Tuesday's session.

"Defensively, I thought kids did a nice job of knowing where to go and getting there with a purpose." Milroy said.

"I liked that defensively — especially on the inside run portion — our guys played really really aggressive. We got off blocks and our linebackers filled really well," Adolphson said. "You obviously have an advantage when you know the ball is going to stay inside but I was really happy with that."

Gullstrand echoed his counterparts.

“Defensively, we just need to work on being in the right spot, getting the call and executing it. We did a pretty good job at that today," he said. "We did a good job playing with leverage and keeping our leverage defensively today expect for a couple of times."

Always a focus on physicality

Gullstrand's squad went 2-7 overall last fall, and he wants his Cougars to be more vicious, if you will.

“Our physicality was pretty big," Gullstrand said. "We’ve been preaching hard about being physical this year. They did a great job with that today."

The Red Storm also are focused on physicality.

United High School football coach David Milroy talks to members of his squad during Tuesday's joint workout with Monmouth-Roseville and ROWVA/Williamsfield at Monmouth College's April Zorn Memorial Stadium.

"We’ve got to be more physical and that’s what we talked about," said Milroy, whose team held a 1-3 mark after the first four weeks in 2021 before securing five straight wins and securing a spot in the playoffs. "We’ve got to get there even quicker and be more physical. That’s what we’re going to try to end our summer doing and head right into the season with that.

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“The kids were on the same page, and now it’s just ironing out the details," Milroy added.

Adjustments on the fly aide everyone

Those who repped Mon-Rose, R/W and United all made adjustments on the fly, and they may not have done so at full game speed but communicating on the gridiron proved to be necessary. Talking amongst each other always helps.

"The biggest thing is just the adjustments. We went from a play against United and then you've got ROWVA/Williamsfield the very next play and their defensive front is totally different," said Adolphson, who guided his team to a 6-4 overall mark in 2021. "A lot of the communication that we would typically do during a game we had to do today in a practice situation.

"It's obviously not 100 miles an hour, and it's not completely full speed but it's a heck of a lot closer to what a game feels like than your normal day going against the freshmen and sophomores from your own team."