Because he lives in Mexico, Wrayvuz Givens has been there every step of the way during offseason training for the Missouri Military Academy varsity football team.
Even though he lives in Dallas, TX., Tao Cunningham found a way to be a big part of what the Fighting Colonels had going on this summer on the gridiron, as well. While there were also several other athletes who did their best to take part in as much as possible of what head coach Mitchell Jenkins had going on the past couple months, MMA's numbers are always going to be limited this time of year because they're a boarding school and most of its' student body is based all over the world.
But now all the cadets are back on campus and getting ready for the varsity seasons. Because of this, the Fighting Colonels are not only going to have an intersquad football game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., but they're also going to pre-ceed that with a varsity intersquad soccer game at 6 p.m.
"It is an intersquad scrimmage to kick off our season. While I wont speak for (MMA varsity soccer coach) Liam (Collins), I know we will use this to help set our deph chart going into the Jamboree," said Jenkins. "Since we are using it for evaulation purposes, we will be using a scripted format where all players will run the same plays on offense and see the same plays on defense."
The first contact allowed by the Missouri State High School Activities Association for prep football teams is Saturday. Some squads choose like MMA and have a standard format while others like Mexico choose to stay up late and start hitting literally the moment it's allowed.
"We've been doing this intersquad scrimmage since I took over," Jenkins said. "Lots of schools do Midnight Maddness to kick off the first day of pads, Aug. 11, but we've always done Saturday Night Live."
With a student body that has such a culturaly diverse background, getting enough players to come out for the soccer team isn't a problem. But, with a game like football that traditionally has always called for large numbers, Jenkins roster is generally on the small side compared to the teams he runs up against. That's just one of several reasons his goals for this event are modest, but focused.
"Again, can't speak for Liam, but we are just hoping to come out healthy and get some looks on film," Jenkins said.
Prior to this the Fighting Colonels not only had an indoor home 6-on-6 with North Callaway in the Field House because it was raining, but more recently the team was in O'Fallon at St. Dominic's for a 7-on-7. As for the soccer team, coach Collins was on campus all summer, so once his players were available to him the work of preparing for 2018-19 was able to begin.
"We feel our squad has enough to scrimmage," said Jenkins.