Until Saturday morning, the first Lingleville football players in more than 40 years had hit nobody except their own teammates.
That changed in the Cardinals' first scrimmage, a three-team event against host Cherokee and Cedar Park Summit Saturday.
"It was a learning experience," said Lingleville head coach Justin Del Bosque. "Our guys found out real quick how much difference there is in the speed of practice and the speed of a game."
It didn't take Cherokee long to open the eyes of Lingleville defenders.
"Cherokee came out rockin' and rollin' and kind of caught us on our heels and scored on the first play," Del Bosque said. "After that we knew it was for real."
Del Bosque said there were positives for his team to build on as they progress toward their Aug. 27 season opener against Stephenville Faith.
"We showed a few bright spots on both sides of the ball," he said. "Finding some consistency is going to a big thing for us."
Lingleville had a pair of big offensive plays and managed one touchdown when Edwin Chacon hauled in a 40-yard pass from Dustin Sparks. The other big play came on a 60-70 yard run by Chris Carter, but the Cardinals were unable to finish the drive in the end zone. Del Bosque said freshman Robert Van Kranenberg showed some bright flashes at quarterback and on defense, where he had an interception.
There were opportunities for more big plays.
"Looking at the film, I can see there would be a little crease here and there (in the running game), but we would hesitate and not hit it hard. Our guys are used to seeing big holes in practice, but when you face good competition those holes are just little creases. We just need more experience."
"We faced some tough competition," he said. "Cedar Park Summit went a couple rounds deep in the playoffs last year, and I think Cherokee will make it to the playoffs this year. That's tough for a first-year team to face, especially in our first scrimmage."
The Lingleville community will get its first taste of football action against an opponent since the late 1960s when the Cardinals host a three-team scrimmage against Early Paradigm and Sidney behind the old high school at 5 p.m. Friday.
"Early Paradigm is a first-year program, too, so that will be a good measuring stick for us," he said. "And then Sidney will give us some more good competition."