While the official start of football season is still a week away, two Covington and Rockdale rivals will square off tonight in a bout of preseason football.
The Eastside Eagles and Heritage Patriots will meet at Eastside Field in Covington.
The scrimmage will be the first for both programs; both schools canceled their scrimmage matchups last week due to inclement weather.
With the official start of the season set for Aug. 30, the live practice time against another team is vital to see where his program stands against the competition, Eastside head coach Rick Hurst said.
"We just want to see where we are," Hurst said. "That’s what a scrimmage is. (It’s) a chance to find out where we are. With as many young kids as we have playing, we have to find out if we’re in the right spot."
Hurst said that his team’s pacing and tempo are two things he’ll be watching against the Patriots.
"Defensively, we want to line up and get to the ball," Hurst said. "Offensively, we're just trying to see that our tempo is good and (our) execution is good. Luckily, we still have a week and a half before we really kick it off, but it’s basically just trying to gauge where we are. It’s hard to tell where you stand against yourself, and we want to see where we stand right now."
Heritage head coach Mike Parris said that his team is excited to finally be hitting another color instead of the Patriots’ traditional blue.
"At least (it’s) someone in a green jersey instead of blue," Parris said. "They’re tired of hitting blue (jerseys)."
Parris, in his first season with Heritage, plans to also use the scrimmage to see how his program has progressed this summer.
"I want to see them show what they’ve learned," he said. "We’re not going to be perfect, and we don’t need to be yet. It’s a process. We’re going to use that process to prepare for next week. It’s going to be good for us and it’s going to be good for Eastside, too.
They do a great job out there, and I know they’re ready to play, too."
The scrimmage will begin at 7 p.m. Eastside will close the week with a scrimmage Friday against Indian Creek. The junior varsity team will scrimmage at 7 p.m., with the varsity scrimmage to follow at 7:30 p.m.
Due to weather forecasts, the Newton High Rams’ scrimmage against Southwest DeKalb scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 20, was canceled. The scrimmage will not be made up.
The Newton County Board of Education previously canceled scrimmages for Newton, Eastside and Alcovy scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17, due to inclement weather, as well. The scrimmages have not been rescheduled.
All three Newton County teams will kick off the regular season on Aug. 30.
Alcovy is slated to take on Jones County, while Newton and Eastside will square off in a rivalry clash to start the season.