With the new county rules regarding players practicing less in the heat of the day, Spalding has decided to practice once per day, early in the mornings from 8:30-10:30 a.m.
“We want to get in and get out before the heat gets really bad,” said second-year Jags head coach Nick Davis. “The guys are used to it — they’ve been coming in early all summer long so it’s something they have no problem doing.”
Davis said next week teams can practice longer so he said next Wednesday, Aug. 1, the Jags will work from 8:30-11 a.m. He said he’s working the players hard and the guys are ready to go.
“We’re excited about our core group of players. What we have to hope for is not to get bit by the injury bug, since we don’t have huge numbers,” Davis said. “We’ve been getting better each practice and the guys are ready to rock and roll.”
Spalding will look to rock and roll against Pike County Aug. 17, a team they beat 22-7 last year in the preseason opener on the road. After a week break, then the Jags’ season gets interesting: They will play their first two games in the cozy confines of Memorial Stadium — Aug. 31 against Lamar County and Sept. 7 against Rutland.
It will be the first time the Jags have had consecutive home games to start the season since 2008.
Spalding will be out for revenge against the Trojans of Lamar County. The last time these two teams met — the opening game of the 2009 season — Lamar whipped the Jags 31-0 at Lamar on the way to the Trojans’ first playoff season since 2002. With the Trojans currently coached by Franklin Stephens, who led Tucker to the Class AAAA state title just last year, that game will prove to be a pivotal one for the Jags. Rutland, like Spalding, went 2-8 overall last season and the last time they played (2009), Spalding whipped Rutland 30-0 at home.
The only other revenge games for Spalding in 2012 will be Sept. 21 at Locust Grove and Nov. 2 against crosstown rival Griffin. The Jags lost to both teams in overtime last season.
SPALDING HIGH 2012
8/17 Pike Co.
8/31 Lamar Co.
9/21 @ Locust Grove
10/5 @ Upson-Lee*
10/12 @ Riverdale*
10/19 @ Jonesboro*
10/26 North Clayton*
11/9 Region Playoff
* — Region 4-AAAA, Div. B