The Moore County Middle School football team hasn’t had a lot of times in pads, but the Raiders will suit up and play in a jamboree this week. The Raiders will travel to Wartrace to participate in the Cascade Jamboree on Friday night.
Moore County will face Eagleville at 6 p.m., playing two quarters of football.
Head coach Mike Walker said the Raiders don’t have a lot of experience returning, but he hopes a scrimmage on Thursday at Grundy County will give the team a feel for what’s expected.
“We have a lot of players who I think will be able to contribute … there’s just a lot of them will be untested,” Walker said. “We have very few returning players from last year who have seen a lot of action.
“We go to Grundy County on Thursday at 6 o’clock for a scrimmage and I hope a lot of questions will be answered after that, because the Thursday after that we open our season.”
Walker said Cameron Pykiet and Tristan Whitaker are the two players returning with the most experience. The team may have to lean on them until everyone is up to full speed.
“We have a lot of kids who have played youth football in the past and then quit and sat out a few years for (various) reasons who are now playing again, so they could help us. We will kind of have to take a wait-and-see approach,” Walker said.
Moore County opens its regular season on Thursday, Aug. 7 at Westwood Middle School in Manchester. The Rockets are the defending conference champs and could pose a problem for an inexperienced group of Raiders.
“They will run a jet sweep … they rely on speed,” Walker added. “They are not a team that likes to run between the tackles. They like to run outside a lot, so that could be a challenge for us and our younger guys.”
After facing Westwood, Moore County will return home to host its first home game on Aug. 14 when Cascade visits Lynchburg. A game on Aug. 21 at Eagleville and a home contest Aug. 28 against Liberty will take the Raiders to their bye week and the halfway mark of the season.
With the season getting under way so soon, Walker said it could be a tough adjustment for many.
“It is tough because there are a lot of things that are going on to distract the kids, especially the ones who are new to the school and are just getting used to everything and the practice time. There are a lot of things for them to grasp.”
—By ROBERT HOLMAN, Editor & Publisher