By David Fong
TROY — After just one full week of practice, Troy football coach Matt Burgbacher isn’t sure exactly what to expect when his team makes its public debut today.
But there’s one thing the first-year coach said fans can expect from today’s intrasquad scrimmage.
“The kids will give their maximum effort,” Burgbacher said. “They’ve been doing that all summer. I can guarantee you, the effort will be there.”
Troy fans looking for a sneak preview of the new-look Trojans can get that at 11 a.m. today at Troy Memorial Stadium when the Trojans compete in what Burgbacher is calling a “Scarlet and Gray Game.” The scrimmage is open to the public.
“We’re going to go best-on-best,” Burgbacher said. “Our ones will compete against our ones and our twos will compete against our twos — and then we’ll try to get some of the younger kids in there and see what they can do.”
The intrasquad scrimmage will close out Troy’s first week of practice under Burgbacher, a Tippecanoe High School graduate who spent the past six years as the head coach at Fort Loramie.
Although the sample size is relatively small, Burgbacher said he likes what he’s seen so far from his new team.
“Things have gone great,” Burgbacher said of the first week of practice. “The key is we are getting better every day. We’ve still got a long way to go, but every day we’ve left that practice field this week, we were better than when we went out there.
“The kids are gaining confidence. We have had to slow our pace down a little bit in terms of what we are implementing, but that’s because we want to be perfect at what are doing before we add something new.”
Burgbacher said the players have been responsive not only to him, but to his staff, which is almost completely different from last season.
“You can see the kids getting more comfortable with us,” he said. “We are starting to gel as a team, which is important. We knew coming in it was going to take time and that we were going to have to be patient. But that’s another one of those things where you can see it getting a little better every day.”
Burgbacher said that while the first week has given him a good idea of where his players stand on the depth chart, nothing is finalized — and Saturday would help sort things out for he and his staff.
“We’ve seen some really good things and we’ve had some disappointments this week,” he said. “We’ve had some kids who have really surprised us. We’ve learned a lot about our kids — but we’ve still got a long way to go and not much time to get there. The season is three weeks away. That’s not a lot of time.”
Troy will scrimmage at Reynoldsburg Aug. 15, then host Dunbar Aug. 21 in the final scrimmage of the preseason. Troy opens the regular season Aug. 27, a Thursday, against Chaminade Julienne at Wayne High School.
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong