It’s the big day for the Lowndes football.
They’ll travel to Bainbridge to kick off their fall season in a scrimmage with the Bearcats today at 7:30 p.m. The layout of the game will feature younger players seeing action in the first and final quarters and varsity playing through the second and third quarters according to head coach Randy McPherson.
Ahead of the scrimmage, the Vikings held a meet and greet event for the team. The event was in the LHS cafeteria on Thursday evening and served as a precursor for what to expect.
The coaching staff introduced every player in their respective positions and gave insight to how much the team has worked over the summer.
Tonight that work will come to light.
Bainbridge won the 5A state championship after stringing together seven consecutive victories to close their season.
The Bearcats finished the regular season with a 5-5 record after opening the season with only two wins through six games. Still they ran the table and upset Warner Robins in the final, reversing a previous 38-0 defeat by the Demons in the regular season.
The heart of Bainbridge is the high caliber defense that they tote, averaging 18.6 points allowed per game lats season. In the championship they returned two interceptions for touchdowns and halted Warner Robins’ electric offense.
The Bearcats will make the perfect opponent for the Vikings to gauge their offensive prowess against.
“We’ve just been doing the same old stuff,” McPherson said of the team’s preparation for the Bearcats. “Working on fundamentals, running plays and working on executing.”
Though the game will be live, with full contact, officials and true game speed, it won’t appear on the record of either team.
That’s why it is the perfect measuring stick.
“The kids have really sold out in the offseason and I think it’s going to be a great test,” defensive coordinator Byron Slack said. “Bainbridge is a big and physical team and they don’t make any bones about it. They’re going to lineup their biggest, fastest, kids and come right at you.”
The Vikings are not new to top tier competition.
In the spring game they faced Warner Robins. Over the summer they faced Thomasville and Brooks in 7-on-7 competition twice and hosted held organized team activities with Lee and Coffee. Now they’ll they face their last test before the regular season begins.
For some Vikings’ players, they’re betting on themselves as they enter the season.
“I have high expectations for this team,” senior receiver Ghetti Brown said. “I feel as if we’ve grown a lot over the summer and I’m just ready to see it come together … I’m looking to see how much we improved from last year. We really didn’t end off how we wanted to last year but I think we can take it all the way this year.”
Offensively, the Vikings will see how apt they are.
Slack just wants to see cleanliness.
“Just getting lined up and being clean with whatever we do,” Slack said on his focus for the scrimmage. “We’ve got eight or nine kids coming back on defense however you look at it. Things ought to go pretty smooth by way of lining up and things we see. That’s really what I’m going to focus on. And obviously running and hitting.”
The summer is over.
Now, it’s about how the Vikings start.
It might give a peek to how they’ll end, in turn.
“I’d like to see us play well, you know it’s always important to start good and we’ll have a much better idea of where we’re at after tomorrow,” McPherson said.