Model head coach Jeff Hunnicutt

New Model head coach Jeff Hunnicutt will be on the sidelines of Woodard-Tuggle Stadium in a regular season game for the first time Friday when the Blue Devils host LaFayette to open the season.

Game: LaFayette (0-0) at Model (0-0)

Last meeting: LaFayette 28, Model 25 (Aug. 17, 2018)

All-time series: LaFayette leads 9-4

On the air: Mountain Coast Network —

The Model football team has a chance to get its season off to a good start Friday when the Blue Devils welcome LaFayette to Woodard-Tuggle Stadium.

The contest will be the first for new head coach Jeff Hunnicutt who, after seeing his team compete in a road scrimmage against Mt. Zion-Carroll last week, will get to lead the Blue Devils out onto the field for the first time.

“I’m very excited and I hope the kids are excited too,” Hunnicutt said. “One of the things I always say is we have to be excited. This is an emotional game. We’re asking young me to do extraordinary things. It’s all 11 working in unison for that goal. If our effort and attitude are right, we can get by with that.”

The Blue Devils were edged by the Ramblers last year on the road 28-25, but Hunnicutt is looking to take away positives from the game no matter the outcome.

“We’ve watched their scrimmage, and coach (Paul) Ellis does a good job,” Hunnicutt said. “They’re going to do some fundamentally sound things. We’re going to have to be able to run well for us to be successful. If we can take some positives out of this game — not necessarily on the scoreboard — we can build on this game and this side of town will have something to be excited about.”

The Blue Devils enter the season under new direction after a 2-8 performance last year that saw the Blue Devils miss the postseason for the second straight season. Hunnicutt said he especially wants to make sure his team benefits from the hard work they put in to the program.

“I’m optimistic about a lot of things,” Hunnicutt said. “We’re doing good things. We finally have some people in the right spot. If you’re doing this, you’ve got to have fun. If you’re doing this two hours a day for three days a week — if you’re going to put this much time in it, you better enjoy it.”

— Jonathan Blaylock

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