Football Friday is only one more night away and coaches for Rockmart and Cedartown High Schools have their players working on the fundamentals ahead of their first home games of the season.
Head coach Scott Hendrix said his players have been hard at work making sure their tackling skills are down before they host Hiram on Doc Ayers Field for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Though he’s certainly worried about the depth the Hornets bring to the gridiron, since they are a bigger school.
“We’ll certainly have our hands full,” Hendrix said.
The Bulldogs will be looking to contain a hard hitting backfield that includes fullback Shannon Smith, and a defense that includes a fast middle linebacker.
Hendrix isn’t worried so much about minor mistakes made in the preseason scrimmage game two weeks back against New Manchester, instead focusing on ensuring his players contain the offense or defense with strong tackling.
“That’s the part that we’ve worked hard on over the past two weeks to fix,” Hendrix said.
Hiram comes into the game following their scrimmage on Aug. 15 with McEachern.
The Rockmart Yellow Jackets are also working on the fundamentals, but to bring back a level of confidence head coach Bin Turner said has been lacking from his football team.
“I believe we developed a lot of confidence over the last week,” he said. “We’re going to continue to do the same early on this week with the drills we have our kids running.”
Turner said he isn’t focusing on what the North Murray Mountaineers will do when they enter the Rock on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. He’s more concerned about what his team will do.
“I’m not worried about any team we play right now, I’m worried about us,” Turner said. “If we show up, we can beat anybody. If we don’t, it is what it is.”
His biggest concern – along with Hendrix – is on tackling. He said drills over the past week have focused on his players ability to hit and take down opponents on the field.
“We had a lot to work on, especially when it comes to shoring up our tackling,” he said. “We’ve really worked on putting bodies on bodies.”
Confidence, Turner said, is the biggest asset his team will need heading into the rest of the season. He said he felt it was one area where Rockmart lacked the most when he came into the job, and one area where he will keep his focus throughout the year.
The team, Turner said, is athletic and ready for business. They just need an early win to help them over the first hurdle of the season.
“We’re evidently in a lot better shape than they’re used to be around here,” he said. “We just need to use our athleticism right on the field.”
North Murray faced off against Murray County in their preseason scrimmage.
Both the Jackets and the Bulldogs will host their first games, but will be on the road for their second. Cedartown heads to Northwest Whitfield to face the Bruins on Sept. 5. Rockmart will be traveling to Sonoraville to face the Phoenix.