Pre-season football action takes place this week

Football is right around the corner. The late summer sunsets will give way to the Friday night lights with each passing week. If the football itch has a hold of you, there are some local options this week to whet your appetite.

Belgreen will take to the field for the first time in decades. The Bulldogs will not play varsity competition for two years, and they will not play a home game this year.

Nonetheless, history will be made Friday night, varsity or not, at the first snap of the game. The Bulldogs will be guided by Jonathan Raper. Raper, better known for his baseball exploits at Phil Campbell, takes on a new challenge in guiding the young Belgreen squad.

“This is a history-making moment for Belgreen, and I’m just proud to be a part of it.” said Raper. “I just want our kids to go out and have fun and enjoy the moment and compete.”

Tharptown will host Phil Cambpell on Friday night. This matchup will feature Phil Campbell’s Jacob Hamilton against his old team, Tharptown, who is under the leadership of John Johnson.

Hamilton wants to see his team compete and get game experience for as many players as possible.

“I’m looking for us to get quality, competitive reps,” said Hamilton. “I would like to play as many players as possible to allow all of our kids to get some game experience and all of us, as a staff, to evaluate all personnel. I believe we have a great deal of talent, but we have a lot of new faces. So, just getting them game experience will be huge.”

Johnson wants to see how his team competes.

“I’m just looking for effort and execution,” said Johnson.

Russellville will travel to Itawamba, Miss. Golden Tiger head coach John Ritter sees the pre-season as an opportunity to work out kinks and allow his players to make mistakes while giving great effort.

“I want to see our kids compete,” said Ritter. “They need to be physical and relentless. Mistakes are a given. We want mistakes to be made and not to falter on the three areas we are looking for.”

Red Bay and Vina will not play a pre-season scrimmage.

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