Linebackers, Vols ready to scrimmage

Lee Williams hosts Wickenburg at 6 p.m. today

Lee Williams’ All-City linebacker Edmund Ashton drills to knock the ball out of the hands of the quarterback (assistant coach Clint Sasse) during Thursday’s practice.

Photo by Shawn Byrne.

Lee Williams’ All-City linebacker Edmund Ashton drills to knock the ball out of the hands of the quarterback (assistant coach Clint Sasse) during Thursday’s practice.

KINGMAN – It’s time for live hitting, and the Lee Williams Volunteers host Wickenburg in a scrimmage at 6 p.m. today. The scrimmage isn’t about winning for the Vols, it’s about improving.

“We obviously want our guys to compete and do the best they can, but the mission of the scrimmage is not about winning the scrimmage,” said LWHS football coach Jacob Iodence. “We just want to get better day after day and just find a way.”

The Vols’ linebacker corps is a unit worth watching. Three of the four positions are sewn up by returning Miner All-City linebacker Edmund Ashton (6-3, 200), junior Matt Shaw (5-11, 200) and senior Andrew Davis. Junior Michael Thomas, sophomore Aaron Santos, and sophomore Andrew Rucker (5-7, 151) are competing for the fourth spot.

“This is our best group,” Iodence said. “There are six who we feel really good about playing varsity football, which is nice because there’s depth in the group. It’s where we have our best athletes.”

Ashton made All-City last year with 81 tackles. He’s feeling better about the unit this year.

“We’re looking a lot stronger,” he said. “We’re more fundamental. We’re working together and not putting anyone down. We’re trying to encourage people to pick them up. We’re not letting anyone fall.”

Iodence may want to see his Vols improve, but the linebackers appear to have loftier goals.

“We hope to accomplish not giving up one yard,” Shaw said. “We don’t want to give up any yards.”

The Vols fell to Wickenburg last year 42-20 in the regular season, and today’s meeting is the only one of the year for the two teams. Lee Williams moved up to the 4A Conference, and the Wranglers are in 3A. Shaw would like to give Wickenburg a little something to remember the Vols by.

“We want to give it to them,” he said. “We want to show them what we’ve improved on.”

Lee Williams opens the regular season at 7 p.m. next Friday at Kingman.