We’re now less than 48 hours away from the unofficial beginning of the TSSAA football season when jamborees and one-on-one scrimmages happen in football stadiums around the state.
In Paris, Henry County will host the Edward Jones Football Challenge that will include local teams Milan, Westview and Dresden.
Westview will start things off against Stewart County at 6 p.m. followed by hosting Henry County vs. McCracken County out of Kentucky. McCracken will stay on the field to play Milan.
Then probably the most interesting matchup of the night – maybe of any game in the area – will be Dresden vs. Murray, who is also out of Kentucky.
Murray is coached by Keith Hodge, who announced he was leaving Dresden after two years as head coach during the winter.
“That will definitely be a weird feeling for me,” Hodge said about taking the field and looking across to the other sideline and seeing kids who he’s coached since he came to Dresden in 2009. “But I’m looking forward to it because I know we’ll get the kind of game we need out of them.”
When Henry County officials made the matchups for the jamboree, Hodge told them he wanted to play against a team – preferably a small school since Murray is in Kentucky’s Class 2A – that ran the spread offense.
Dresden fit that bill.
“It’ll be unusual, but I’m not expecting anything other than a hard-fought preseason game out of it,” Hodge said. “I announced I was leaving in the winter, but I stayed around teaching until the end of the semester, which our matchup was announced before I left.
“So there was some playful trash talk between some of the assistant coaches and me and even some of the players. It’s OK. Obviously coming off with a win would be big for momentum, but I’m more worried about making sure we’re lined up right, not missing assignments and that sort of thing.”
Big speaking events: Jamborees are only the kickoff to a big weekend for football in West Tennessee. Saturday is the day Bobby and Tommy Bowden speak at First Baptist Milan. Tickets are sold out for that event.
Englewood Baptist in Jackson will host their fantasy football kickoff event Sunday afternoon with former Tennessee Titan Kevin Dyson speaking. Registration is complete for that event also.
Preview coming: For those wondering, our big football preview magazine: Kickoff 2014 – The Next Step will be a part of the paper next Friday, just in time for Week 0.
It will have 92 pages of high school football for every fan in the Sun’s coverage area highlighting all the teams and breaking down the districts before the season gets cranked up.
Brandon Shields is the sports editor of The Jackson Sun. Contact him at 425-9751 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon.