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High school football starts with two classic matchups

Jags host Jefferson County in football classic Friday

The 2018 high school football season for Gadsden County High gets underway Friday night when the Jaguars host Jefferson County in a pre-season classic game. The game is set to start at 7 p.m.

Gadsden County High coach Shannon Faison said, “The team has been working hard and is looking forward to hitting someone other than their own bunch.”

With the offensive and defensive line starters intact from last year, Faison feels his team will be tough in the trenches.

“We will be strong up front both ways,” Faison said. “Offensively, we plan to play a ball control game and defensively we want to take charge of the line of scrimmage, forcing the other team to have short possessions.”

Faison plans to start freshman Da’Nilo McCloud at quarterback.

“He has shown he’s capable of handling things in practice,” Faison said. “This game will help him get a feel for what’s going on.”

Jefferson County is coached by former Shanks High and Florida State star Leroy Smith, who is in his second year as the Tigers head coach. Smith also was the head coach at Shanks Middle School for a couple of campaigns. Smith took over a team that had struggled the previous several years and led them to the playoffs in his first season.

The game Friday night will be a homecoming of sorts for Smith.

Munroe hosts Sneads at Corry Field Friday

Munroe will host a pre-season classic football game at Corry Field Friday, when Sneads comes in for a 7 p.m. encounter.

“We’re excited about the game,” Bobcat head coach Joe Gaddy said. “It will help us see how far we’ve come and how far we need to go, to become a successful team.”

Gaddy, who took over the Munroe helm this past spring, has had his team working hard to attain a winning level.

“We try to get one percent better every practice,” Gaddy says. “And that’s what we’ll try to do this game.”

The Bobcats hosted a Fanfare Day last Saturday that included activities where fans met the players, a team scrimmage and a flag football game between coaches and alumni (sources say the coaches won), among other things.

“All in all it was a fun day,” Gaddy commented. “It helped us to get to know our parents more, and for them to get to know us.”

Xavier Grey will start Friday’s game at quarterback.

“We feel he has the athletic ability to do the job,” Gaddy said­­. “We’re looking forward to meeting Sneads, a team that has a tradition of being tough and hard-nosed.”

“It’s where we’re trying to get, and playing opponents like Sneads will only help.”

By Joe Ferolito