Get ready for a second dose of Kickoff Classics.
If Thursday’s action wasn’t enough, today will offer five more preseason games.
The ESPN Pensacola/PNJ Game of the Week — Pensacola High at West Florida — pits an athletic Tigers team against the Jaguars, who will seek to rebuild their identity quickly this season after losing key playmakers.
West Florida’s offense will have big shoes to fill after graduating Joey Baker and Lawrence Lee — a duo who led the area in passing (3470 yards, 37 TDs) and receiving (1,101 yards, 13 TDs) last year, respectively.
West Florida coach Harry Lees said he’s looking forward to his team getting experience against a quality opponent.
“We have some guys with experience but we also have some that need to get their feet wet a little bit,” said Lees, entering his fifth year at West Florida.
“That way, when the lights come on next week we’ll have settled a little bit.”
Senior linemen Devin Gibson and Noah Banks return with considerable experience and noticeable size. The O-Line will look to be a foundation for the Jaguars offensive identity this year.
Defensively, four-year starter Dakota Milstead will aim to play a big role in the Jaguars secondary — making 74 tackles and tallying two interceptions in 2013.
“Some of these kids weren’t even in school the last time PHS played West Florida,” Lees said.
“My guys know a lot of kids at PHS. They’re excited for the game.”
The Tigers will look to maintain their continuity on offense, while throwing Milton transfer Slade Jarman into the mix at multiple positions, including quarterback.
Jarman threw for 1,723 yards and 15 touchdowns at Gulf Breeze last season, before transferring to Milton in the spring.
Roy Colum III, who was effective at both passing and rushing at the quarterback position last season, seeks to get plenty of action under center this year.
Senior standout Roy Albritton anchors the O-Line at Guard. The South Alabama commit will look to pave the way for Kevon Abrams — who finished sixth in the area with 882 rush yards in 2013.
East Gadsden at Washington
Charlie Ward makes his coaching debut hosting an East Gadsden team that has made the playoffs three years in a row.
The Wildcats boast a strong defensive unit, headed by Safety Erick Cook.
The ball hawk grabbed six interceptions, making 33 tackles in 2013.
Offensively, quarterback Garry Lawrence will seek to lead a unit that lost its top two receivers.
The dual-threat QB emerged in spring practice as the starter and will aim lead an up-tempo offense this year.
Games on the road
Three area teams will take to the road tonight to wrap up the preseason portion of fall camp. The Catholic High Crusaders will travel to take on Fort Walton Beach, Pace will trek to Crestview and the Jay Royals will travel over to District 1-1A rival Baker.
The Crusaders are looking to build on last year’s memorable season in which they were ranked No. 1 to end the regular season and advanced to the Region 1-5A finals.
Catholic will be taking on a Fort Walton Beach trying to overcome both losses to graduation and transfers in the offseason.
The Patriots will travel to District 1-7A foe Crestview seeking to improve on their 2013 season which came to a close against Choctaw in the regional quarterfinals.
Quiade Weimerskirch — who led the area in rushing last year — returns for his senior campaign aiming to be the workhorse for the Patriot offense.
After notching their first winning season since 2008, the Royals head into Baker for a challenging start.
Led by junior Braden Cross — the area’s fifth-leading rusher in 2013 — and eight returning seniors, Jay will aim to set the tempo high early this year.
Preseason Kickoff Classics
» Jay at Baker, 7 p.m.
» Pensacola High at West Florida, 7 p.m.
» Pace at Crestview, 7 p.m.
» East Gadsden at Washington, 7 p.m.