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Demopolis seeks effort in Jamboree

Demopolis takes to the field Friday night in Linden for its final preseason test, a Jamboree against the 1A Patriots and 5A Central-Tuscaloosa.

“We’re looking for effort,” Demopolis High head coach Tom Causey said of the role the game plays in the Tigers’ preparation for the regular season. “We’re looking for guys flying around and doing what we’ve been teaching here the last two or three weeks.”

The game will allow Demopolis to face Linden for two quarters and Central for two quarters. Causey said the quality of opponents should provide his team with a stern test as it looks to its season opener against Wetumpka Friday, Aug. 28.

“I think the two teams we’re playing against are extremely well coached,” Causey said. “I know they are talented. We won’t be able to go out and make mistakes and be able to compete.”

The Patriots played Demopolis in last year’s Jamboree game and bolted to a 13-1 season en route to a semi-final round playoff berth. Central won a state championship in 2007. It is that type of pedigree, Causey stressed, that will challenge his team.

“It’s perfect for a preseason game,” he said.

While the game is only a week before the regular season opener, Causey and his staff are still working to identify depth along the offensive line.

“We’re still looking for guys to step up at that position,” Causey said. “Maybe game time will help with that. We’re looking for guys that are pushing to start.”

Offensive line is not the only position at which the Demopolis staff is seeking depth, but it may be the most glaring due to the type of scheme the Tigers utilize. Causey said the task of identifying starters is a continual one and a definite rotation will not be in place by the end of the preseason.

“I think you’re trying to figure that out all year long,” Causey said of how playing time will be hashed out for the Tigers. “That is a constantly changing deal.”

Friday night’s game is the first full-contact test for the Tigers against a foreign opponent, but it also presents the first glimpse of new starting quarterback Ben Pettus, the team’s second-stringer in 2008.

“I don’t know if it is a test. It is another part of his maturation as a starting quarterback,” Causey said. “We expect him to go out there and do what we coach him to do. We don’t expect him to go out and win the game for us. We expect him to go out and be a part of our offense.”

The Tigers are scheduled to meet the Patriots and Falcons Friday night in Linden at 7 p.m.