Don't rely too much on preseason football scrimmages.
Various coaches have different agendas in scrimmages. Most coaches want to see their players in game action and have film to evaluate. But coaches also are concerned with getting lots of players some good looks.
It is easy to be misled when one team's reserves are pounded by another team's starters.
That said, Friday night's eight-team scrimmage at Wake Forest-Rolesivlle should be a fun one to watch.
One thing to evaluate in the first session is how does the Millbrook offense look. Many of the starters are back from a unit that was incredibly powerful at the end of last year. Coach Clarence Inscore said he hoped the group would click earlier this year than a year ago. On the other hand, Inscore may use to scrimmage as a chance to build depth.
Louisburg also has plenty of offensive weapons coming back, but the Warriors are stepping up in class against some of the biggest high schools in the state. If Louisburg can run effectively on Friday, it may be able to run all season.
Bunn is a 2-A power and it will be interesting to see how its lines handle teams that are two-platooning _ tough to see that in a scrimmage though _ and how the man-to-man matchups up front work out.
Can East Wake bounce back? It was an uncharacteristic 2-9 in an injury-plagued season. The Warriors may learn more in the scrimmage than any other team.
The night session is loaded, of course, with Wake Forest-Rolesville, Garner, Leesville Road and Clayton.
Wake Forest is the logical choice as the preseason No. 1 team in the Raleigh area. Coach Earl Smith's team is solid in every aspect of the game.
Garner, on the other hand, is a big question mark. Its usual depth at wide receiver and running back is depleted. The quarterback is untested and the defense is made up primarily of newcomers. Also, Millbrook ran and passed so effectively against the Trojans last year, there have to be questions about whether the Wildcats exposed a flaw in the defense or just executed well. Most teams with the same returning personnel as Garner wouldn't be considered a power, but Garner annually fields outstanding teams. The Trojans need to get ready for next week's opener against Millbrook.
Leesville Road also is a mystery to me. The Pride has been very good in recent years, but graduated its defensive leader and its offensive leader. QB Thomas Wilson was a great leader. West Johnston coach Bennett Jones said he was impressed with the Pride in their scrimmage earlier this week.
Clayton played every team tough last year, but the Comets struggled offensively. Clayton is missing their linebacker standouts from last year but the offense should be better. One thing to look for is if the Clayton line can get any movement up front. A year ago, the Comets couldn't run or throw effectively and had to rely on its defense.
Incidentally, The News & Observer's preseason football package is scheduled for the first High School Huddle on Tuesday, Aug. 19.