DHS players ready to go full-speed vs. Thomasville

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 19, 2005

Like every team across the region, the Demopolis Tigers have been banging on each other in practice for a long time now. Not surprisingly, the DHS players says they can hardly wait to bang on someone else.

“You know, I’m so happy I can’t really even express it,” says senior outside linebacker Ezell Braxton. “I’m just glad to be back playing the game of football. We just want to go back to Birmingham.”

As has been the case for Demopolis’s jamboree game for several years, the first team DHS gets to bang on will be Thomasville. The opposing Tigers come to Demopolis tonight for another edition of the pre-season game DHS won last year 36-6.

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Although DHS head coach Doug Goodwin has said that the game’s final score won’t be especially important or an indicator of how the season might go, senior guard Zach Landerfelt says that doesn’t mean there’s nothing at stake…especially against a Thomasville team that many in Demopolis see a rival.

“There’s always a little something there with Thomasville,” Landenfelt says. “It’s important to win the game, to start the season off on the right foot.”

With something on the line, it’s little surprise that the DHS players agree that there’s no room for taking plays off or making less than a total effort, even in a scrimmage.

“Just like last year. Everybody’s just going to do what they’re supposed to do,” Braxton says. “Everybody’s going to go full speed and we’re going to just move forward from there.”

“We’re trying to do it just like a regular game,” Landenfelt says. “We’ll treat it like a regular game.”

Full speed or not, regular game or not, according to Goodwin the most important thing about the jamboree is for the players to develop. Landenfelt says that the offensive line is coming together and that the Thomasville game will continue to make them a more cohesive unit.

“We’re getting better,” he says. “The most important thing is to work together. If we do that we’ll do fine.”

Braxton says that on the defensive side of the ball, the kind of intensity the defense needs to thrive hasn’t been there in recent practices, and that the scrimmage will be a good opportunity to get that back.

“Tomorrow will tell our attitude,” he says. “Practice hasn’t been good and this is a chance to for an attitude change. We have some inexperienced guys on our defense and we seniors need to step up and help motivate them.”

For fans, the game will represent their first look at the 2005 team since the spring game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with admission costing $5.