MHS hosts JEHS in county rivalry opening game

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 30, 2007

DIXONS MILLS &8212; Two schools in the Marengo County School System, Marengo High School and John Essex High School, are meeting up in a county rivalry Friday on the former&8217;s home field.

Both groups are looking to start off their 2007-08 campaigns with a win after struggling last year, with John Essex High School going 1-8 and Marengo High School going 5-4. The Panthers have the added benefit in the match up of a coach, Scottie Jones, in his second year with the group, while the Hornets are staring their first season under Fentress Means.

Jones said to adjust to the speed issues the Hornets bring to the table his group might make several defensive changes. He said the speed and the spread offense run by John Essex High School might cause his team to move into a 4-3 or 5-2 defense with a rover.

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The biggest issue Means saw for his team after their jamboree game last week was fitness, as his depth was disrupted by players having to sit out while cramps subsided. Of course his group has been playing catch up in the weight room, agilities and on the field since practice started after the beginning of school.

Marengo High School, too, has health related issues coming into the game, with players already sidelined by injuries prior to this first game.

He said other than those players the team is healthy and ready to kick off their season.