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Prep teams get their feet wet
Before diving into season, schools get an early look with jamborees
By Brooke Milam
DAILY Sports Writer
[email protected] · 340-2460
Some will hit the road, and some will host a home game. With the regular season a week away, area high school football teams are looking to find out if they are game-ready.
Most teams have scheduled a jamboree game this week — a last chance to see what needs to be fine-tuned before next week's openers.
As has become tradition, Decatur High will travel to play Hewitt-Trussville on Friday night at 6 for the fourth straight year.
The last time the Red Raiders saw Hewitt-Trussville was in last year's first round of the state playoffs at Ogle Stadium.
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Decatur won 28-9, and Red Raiders coach Jere Adcock said he expects another quality contest.
'In a jamboree game, you want to play a good team that's well-coached,' Adcock said. 'I respect Coach Hal Riddle and his (Hewitt-Trussville) teams a lot.'
As for taking an early road trip, Adcock said it's the preference he and his staff have developed.
Their Red Raiders will play five home games and five away games this season.
'I think it's just good to get your kids on a bus and practice traveling,' he said. 'I think that's very important.'
Adcock said the jamboree at Hewitt-Trussville usually brings a good crowd. With teams splitting the money from admissions, it's an added bonus.
In the comforts of Ogle Stadium, Austin will host Cullman tonight at 6:30 in the first of a two-year jamboree series.
Norwood said playing at home was just 'a flip of the coin.' He won a coin toss with Cullman coach Mark Britton, which is why his Black Bears will host.
That means Austin will travel to Cullman for next season's jamboree.
Home or away, coaches are looking for some specific things from their players.
'Fundamentals, execution and conditioning,' Adcock said.
Norwood said he's looking to see how 'in shape' his players are and also how some young players will fare in a game setting.
'We film our practice everyday and we look at that, but it's different to be able to see how these guys are going to do in a real game situation,' Norwood said.
After this weekend it will be crunch time. Teams will have a week to fix any problems that present themselves in the season's practice game.
Adcock said Decatur plans to test as many players as possible, but he hopes to get at least a half-game's work out of his starters.
The most hyped of all area weekend contests is Addison vs. Clay County, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. in Montgomery's Cramton Bowl as part of the first Champions Challenge.
The event, which features four of the six 2005 state champions, also will include Hoover vs. UMS-Wright at 7.
'We're glad the season's here,' Addison coach Randy White said. 'A lot of teams are playing jamborees this weekend, but this is like an opening-week game for us. It's a pretty big deal and we're fortunate because we've earned a spot to get to do this by winning a state championship. It's a privilege.'
Addison was the Class 1A state champion last season, but moves to 2A this year, making the game with 2A state champion Clay County a good measuring stick to start the season. The first challenges of the season are this week — with opening week kickoffs just one week away. And area teams are taking this 'practice' seriously.
'If working hard has anything to do with it, we'll be right there,' White said of the move to 2A. 'These kids haven't let up a bit. But they know the challenge ahead of them.'
Area high school football jamboree schedule
Austin vs. Cullman at Ogle Stadium, 6:30 p.m.
Hazel Green at Hartselle, 7 p.m.
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Lawrence County hosts R.A. Hubbard, Cordova and Sumiton Christian, 5:30 p.m.
Elkmont at Falkville, 6 p.m.
Danville at West Morgan, 7 p.m.
Madison Academy at Clements, 6 p.m.
Tanner at Speake, 6 p.m.
Decatur at Hewitt-Trussville, 6 p.m.
Bob Jones at Athens, 7 p.m.
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Albertville at Brewer, 7 p.m.
Priceville at West Limestone, 7 p.m.
Ardmore at Wilson, 7 p.m.
Hazlewood at Cobb County, 7 p.m.
Westminster at Hatton, 7 p.m.
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Tharptown at Mount Hope, 7 p.m.
Addison vs. Clay County at Montgomery's Cramton Bowl, 3 p.m.