Bulldogs get back to business

Published 11:22 pm Thursday, August 21, 2008

Three of the top Class 1A teams in the state will convene at Sweet Water this evening for a three-team football jamboree.

Class 1A state champion Sweet Water (14-0 in 2007) will play host to Maplesville (12-1), which lost in last year’s semifinals to Sweet Water, and Brantley (10-2), which was upset in the second round of last year’s playoffs by Wadley. All three teams were undefeated in regular-season region play last year.

Sweet Water will kick off the jamboree at 6 p.m. against Maplesville. MHS will take on Brantley at 7 p.m., and SWHS will face Brantley at 8 p.m.

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Each team will play one half against each other, with the entire first quarter and the first four minutes of the second quarter being varsity play.

Sweet Water head coach Stacy Luker will use this jamboree to ready his team for the upcoming season, one which the Bulldogs have a 27-game win streak at the outset.

“It’s giving us a chance to practice in a real game structure,” Luker said. “You can’t simulate that in practice, and you can’t simulate game situations. We also get to hit on other people besides our own people; we’re tired of looking at each other.

“This will also help with conditioning in a real game format. It will help us eliminate some first-game things that we might see here today before we begin the season.”

One change for Sweet Water that has already been made is the team’s realignment into Region 1 from last year’s Region 4. Maplesville will remain in Region 3, while Brantly will stay in Region 2.

“That puts us into a nine-team region,” Luker said. “That made us give up a non-region game, but you play where the state tells you to play.”