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Some teams offer ‘sneak preview’ with final scrimmages

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Dutchtown coach Jason Gault takes his team through its final preparation Thursday before playing Tri-Cities tonight in a scrimmage.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Dutchtown coach Jason Gault takes his team through its final preparation Thursday before playing Tri-Cities tonight in a scrimmage.

Forest Park coach Edmund Coley calls this the “eager part” of the season.

Although the season opener is still a week away, the first-year Panthers coach will get his first look at his new team. After weeks of practicing against each other, Forest Park will play its scrimmage game tonight against Monroe Area at Tara Stadium.

Lovejoy will take on Westside-Macon tonight and Dutchtown will host Tri-Cities. North Clayton will wrap up the preseason scrimmages Saturday at Grady.

“You always think you have an idea of how your team will be,” said Coley, who was the offensive coordinator at Locust Grove last season. “You really have to look at scrimmages as more of an evaluation. We still have a lot of kids that are capable of competing for some playing time.”

While this will be the final tune-up for most teams, Luella will get an early jump on the season. The Lions will be one of a few that will play its season-opener tonight. Several teams had their season-opener Thursday night, with the bulk of teams opening next week.

“This is sort of bitter-sweet because it will be my senior season,” Dutchtown defensive lineman Darian Small said. “This game will give us a chance to see how far we have jelled as a team. It will be sort of a sneak preview for us.”

Last season, the Bulldogs went 11-2 and reached the Class AAAA quarterfinals.

Tri-Cities reached the playoffs last season. Small said it will be a good test to compete against another playoff team in a game that doesn’t count in the standings.

Lovejoy will take on a playoff contender in Westside, which has made the postseason four of the last five seasons.

Lovejoy coach Al Hughes said playing a scrimmage game a week before the season-opener should not be a big problem for a veteran team.

“You wish you had a little more time,” Hughes said. “You just have to come back next week and make the adjustments.”