The turnaround from opening day of practice to the first football game of the season is a short one. So when the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) deemed July 29 as the first day that teams throughout the state could hit the field in full gear, the Moore County Raiders were eager to get after it.
Monday marked the first day that teams could wear full pads, meaning they finally had the green light for full contact. The Raiders were greeted with unseasonably cool weather on Monday, though by the end of the week, temperatures were expected to be back to the muggy July and August heat that high school players typically associate with the start of the football season.
With heat not a serious issue, Moore County was able to practice during its regularly scheduled afternoon sessions.
“It was a smooth transition,” said MCHS head coach Scott Smith. “The TSSAA letting us go out in shorts, helmets and shoulder pads the week before really helped. The temperature has been on our side as well. Heat has not been a factor at all.”
The Raiders have had a busy preseason already and business is about to pick up. MCHS will host Collinwood at 6:30 p.m. Friday in a preseason scrimmage and the Raiders will host Lancaster Christian Academy at 7 p.m. on Aug. 9 in another scrimmage.
Smith hopes his team makes improvement after a rugged practice on Tuesday.
“We are struggling right now,” he said. “The big thing is leadership … getting our team motivated. And the tempo of practice isn’t what we want. We are being too lackadaisical in our practices. We’re taking too long to do what we need to do. We have a certain standard and right now we have not gotten where we need to be.
“Right now we are trying to get our seniors to step up and (become) leaders.”
Coming off a 10-1 season that included the District 9-A title, Moore County opens its 2013 regular season campaign on Aug. 23 at Richland High School, technically a Week 0 contest. The first home game is seven days later as the Raiders host Cornersville.
Home games this season include Cornersville, Wayne County (Sept. 13), Fayetteville City (Sept. 20), Middle Tennessee Christian (Oct. 4) and Community (Oct. 18). Along with the season-opener, the Raiders will play at Forrest (Sept. 6), Cascade (Sept. 27), Huntland (Oct. 11) and Eagleville (Oct. 25).
Moore County will kick off the 2013 season by competing in the Coffee County Jamboree in Manchester on Friday, Aug. 16. The Raiders will play two quarters during the jamboree.
—By ROBERT HOLMAN, editor & publisher (Robert Holman is the publisher of the Moore County News. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org)