Clinton hits turf tonight

Jon Gremmels/Clinton HeraldClinton High assistant coach Nate Herrig (background) watches offensive and defensive linemen battle each other during a recent practice. The coaching staff will get to see the River Kings against outside competition for the first time tonight when Clinton scrimmages Dubuque Senior at 7 p.m. at Coan Field.

CLINTON — While it may not be the real deal when the Clinton River Kings take the football field this evening, they get to face someone not wearing a red-and-while jersey.

Clinton will face Dubuque Senior in a scrimmage at home tonight, and while it may seem like a normal Friday night, there will be some nuances.

“It’ll be nice for them to have the opportunity to see kids perform against someone else,” Clinton coach Lee Camp said. “It’s a good opportunity to get some live situations, but we’ll put the ball on our own 30-yard-line and try to move the ball.”

The game will be truncated to a half, but a lot of players will see playing time.

“We’ll give everybody a look, and see how they fare against someone else,” Camp said. “It’s a good plus for us; it also takes away some of the first-game mistakes and gives the guys a game-like feel.”

Camp uses the scrimmage to survey how well the team has done leading up to next Friday’s opener against Central DeWitt.

“I look for things that we need to improve on and work on for this week — and I want to know if it’s because we’re working on things against ourselves,” Camp said.

On the offensive side of the ball, fans will see all three quarterbacks get snaps under center, but sophomore Johnny Sullivan will start the scrimmage.

“He’s our leader at the top of the depth chart,” Camp said. “All three quarterbacks will see snaps, but they’ll be playing snaps in other positions. For example, Luke Larkin will see most of his snaps at tight end.”

Fans won’t see the entire River Kings playbook, but Camp will show each of the team’s top plays on offense.

“We’ll run plays we feel that are our strongest,” he said. “We’ll run the plays that are most important to our strategy, but we will run a somewhat-limited offense.”

With temperatures expected to be in the low-90s around kickoff, things will try to be kept at a minimum to avoid injury.

“We’re aware and will keep the weather in mind,” Camp said. “We don’t want to overdo things, and we will have plenty of water on the sidelines for the guys.”

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