Football season is almost here.
After two weeks of fall practices, many of the state’s high school teams will get in much needed jamboree games Friday.
Out of the 24 teams on the Coast, only Long Beach, Picayune, Pearl River Central, Pass Christian, St. Patrick and Resurrection opted not to participate in jamborees, which are the equivalent of preseason games.
Harrison Central will play Forrest County AHS at Gulfport at 5:30 p.m., with the Admirals hosting St. Stanislaus at 7 p.m.
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Other games include 6 p.m. starts for Gautier at Vancleave; Stone at Ocean Springs; Poplarville at Jefferson Davis; St. Martin at Oak Grove; and West Harrison playing a doubleheader against Purvis and Greene County at Hattiesburg.
Other 7 p.m. varsity starts include Bay at Hancock; Wayne County at Biloxi; Moss Point at D’Iberville; and Pascagoula at East Central.
George County will play Sumrall at Oak Grove, starting at 8 p.m.
After graduating Tavis Williams at quarterback, Harrison Central isn’t so much worried about the final score as it is interested in seeing how converted tight end Chase Jones will do in shotgun.
“The biggest thing is to try and get some game reps and basically be able to evaluate kids who didn’t play last year,” HCHS coach Casey Cain said. “(Seeing where Jones is at) will be a key, too. I feel confident in him. I really do.
“He’s one of the best athletes in this school.”
Second-year coach Tracy Rogers said he’s anxious to see what his team is made of in 2017.
“Like anybody else, we’re going to be knocking the rust off,” he said. “We want to hit somebody else, really. We’ve been after each other throughout the summer.
“There’s also a few kids who we want to find out if they can help us or not.”
The season will officially begin next week with a series of classics. Long Beach and Pass Christian will start things off next Thursday at PCHS.
Harrison Central vs. Forrest County AHS at Gulfport
Gautier at Vancleave
Stone at Ocean Springs
Poplarville at Jefferson Davis
St. Martin at Oak Grove
West Harrison vs. Purvis, Greene County at Hattiesburg
Bay at Hancock
Wayne County at Biloxi
Moss Point at D’Iberville
Pascagoula at East Central
St. Stanislaus at Gulfport
George County vs. Sumrall at Oak Grove