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Football season on the horizon

The NFL training camp season has begun.

The Baltimore Ravens opened their camp this past Tuesday, and within the next two weeks all 32 teams will start full preparation for the coming season. Local interest teams Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Miami begin their camps July 25 and Atlanta gets things going on the 26th.

The first league exhibition game will be the annual Hall of Fame game August 2 with the Ravens playing Chicago. First exhibition games involving the local interest bunch will be on August 9 when the Dolphins host the Bucs and New Orleans plays at Jacksonville.

The Falcons are at the New York Jets the next day. The regular season opens Thursday, September 6 with Atlanta playing at defending champion Philadelphia. The following Sunday Jacksonville is at the New York Giants, Tennessee is at Miami, and Tampa Bay visits the Saints.

College camps begin around the first of August and three of the local interest teams Florida A&M, Florida State and Florida will be led by new coaches. They will be preparing their teams for their openers. Gadsden County’s own Willie Simmons will lead the FAMU Rattlers against Ft. Valley State in the Jake Gaither Classic game at Bragg Stadium Saturday, September 3.

That same day Dan Mullen and his Florida Gators open the year hosting Charleston Southern. Willie Taggart will wait until Labor Day night when his Florida State Seminoles host Virginia Tech. County high school teams begin pre-season camp the last Monday in July.

Their pre-season games are set for Friday, August 17 with Munroe hosting Sneads and Gadsden High playing in a jamboree. The regular season begins August 24 with Gadsden hosting Leon and Munroe playing at Branford.

By Joe Ferolito