3 Crenshaw County schools set for jamboree action Friday

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, August 11, 2022

Brantley High School’s, Highland Home School’s, and Luverne High School’s football teams will gear up to host their respective jamboree games Friday night at 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs, who reached the Class 1A playoff semifinals in 2021, will clash with 2A Ariton.

Brantley head coach Roland Jones, Jr. said he’ll play all his players against the Purple Cats.

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“We’re just tired of beating up on ourselves,” Jones said. “Coach (Steven) Kilcrease over at Ariton does a great job. We’ve done some 7-on-7s and some OTAs (organized team activities) with him. It’s just a good challenge for our kids. I think they’re ranked in 2A, and they’ve got a very good program.”

Jones said the starters would play the first half, followed by the subs, then junior varsity and junior high players in the fourth quarter.

“We’ve got several linemen who are battling for the starting job, but our skill guys are pretty much set,” Jones said. “But who knows? In live action, you never know who might step forward and be able to play next week.”

The Flying Squadron soars into combat on the gridiron against a new member of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, Pike Liberal Arts. The Patriots previously competed with members of the Alabama Independent Schools Association, winning back-to-back AISA Class AAA state championships in 2020 and 2021 under head coach Mario White.

“Everybody’s really excited to see how they’re going to compete in our league,” said Will Pouncey, Highland Home head coach. “We look forward to the challenge. It’s going to be a lot of excitement, and hopefully, we’ll have a big crowd and a lot of people here to see us, see the Flying Squadron at work with all our preseason expectations. I think it’s a good test out the gate.”

Pouncey said he opted not to have spring practices so they could start early in the fall. The Flying Squadron reached the 2A semifinals in 2021, but suffered a 42-21 loss to eventual 2A state champion Clarke County.

“The biggest thing is to knock the rust off and get up there to see how we do to get those first-game jitters out of the way,” he said.

He said he planned to treat the first half as if it was a regular game, then meet with Patriots coach Travis Baxley to see if they’d go to their second- or third-stringers.

“We want it to be just as live as possible in the first half,” Pouncey said. “We want it to have that Friday night feeling.”

Luverne enters 2022 coming off a 9-2 season where the Tigers advanced to the second round of the 2A playoffs and fell to Lanett, 33-0.

The Tigers face off against 1A Linden on Friday.

“We just want to see our guys come out and compete,” said Jason Rowell, Luverne head coach. “Hopefully, we can be competitive this year. We’ve had a really good summer and a really good fall camp.”

Rowell said his team would split the jamboree reps with 2 ½ quarters going to the varsity and the remainder of the contest going to the junior varsity players.

“It’ll give us a chance for a lot of our guys to see some live reps,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing – just get under the lights and go have fun.”

He added these reps give him an opportunity to evaluate some key position battles.

“There’s some guys battling for some spots out on the offensive line, and we’re going to see how they respond when the live bullets are flying,” Rowell said. “Then, there’s a couple guys at the linebacker position that are trying to battle that position out at inside linebacker and try to settle that position before we go into the start of the season.”