It’s that time again. Football is once again upon Chattooga County and the Indians and Bulldogs are raring to hit the field in the annual Chattooga vs Trion match up.
Friday night at 6:30 pm, the Chattooga Indians, hosts of this year’s scrimmage game, will be recognized before kick off for their 2015 Region 7AA Sportsmanship Award. Principal Jeff Martin still feels that the award was the “best possible prize” on a stellar football season and is very proud of his student/athletes.
In addition to the award recognition, the Indians have announced a Throwback Throw-down Pep Rally in the Old Gym, “The War Lodge” at 2:45 pm. All former players are invited. There will be a DJ, music, a Spirit Competition for the person dressed showing the most school spirit, temporary tattoos, and glow sticks for sale. All county 8th grade students will be bused to the event.
Game time is scheduled for 7:30 pm at Chattooga’s Little Big Horn Stadium. The Bulldogs head coach, Justin Brown, has laid out some clear objectives for the scrimmage. Avoiding turnovers and injuries are among the top of that list. With 8 new starters on defense, Brown is looking forward to getting some game-tape on his players to determine which guys are close to “Friday night” ready. “We use it [the scrimmage] to gauge what kind of shape we’re in,” said Brown. “We want to move the ball with consistency and maintain drives. It would be great to limit our mistakes as well. We don’t want to put ourselves behind the chains with penalties and we certainly don’t want to turn the ball over.”
Coach Brown is also looking for some more aggression and communication from his young defense and the scrimmage will be a good chance for new starters to show the coach they are prepared to step up to the challenge.
On the Indians side of the ball, Chattooga is facing a monster first-half of the season. With opening games against powerhouse programs like Cedar Bluff, Dawson County and AAAA Ridgeland, the Indians need the scrimmage against Trion, and another against Fort Payne, to observe and make corrections before the regular season begins. Chattooga is favored by some to make a run at their first Region title in almost five decades. Pepperell and Model both stand in the way of that goal and both teams managed single-score victories over the Indians last season. With Foster twins, Isaac and Isaiah, taking the field as seniors, and a nice roster of returning starters, Coach Hammon is confident that his boys are capable of anything when playing at their peak. His staff has worked tirelessly to make sure they are prepared for the grueling season and the Trion scrimmage is step-one on their to-do list.
“It’s really time to play,” says Hammon, who has the Indians in their third full week of practice (2nd week in pads). Hammon is looking for a sound kicking game from junior CJ Martin, who will be handling kick offs & field goals, and Isaac Foster, who will be punting. The opening half of the scrimmage will be live football. This means live kick offs and returns which often are omitted from scrimmage situations. Real game environment will continue through the first half, at which point the score board will be turned off and a more “scrimmage like” scenario will be used for the remainder of the game. Coach Hammon is looking for extremely physical play from his defense and leadership from his offense. The Foster brothers combined for over 85% of offensive production last season with over 2,700 yards rushing between them and 30 TD’s.
“We are going to play every kid in the 2nd half…” says Hammon, in an effort to see what the young players are prepared to add to the team. Hammon wants to see his team pick up 1st Downs, move the chains and play with aggressive discipline.
The Indians feature several key players who are currently being recruited by college programs across the country. Scouts are anticipated to be attending almost every game and the fans are as excited as the players.