Essex announces 2012 football slate

Published 7:42 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2011

John Essex will primarily stay close to home in 2012 after setting its football schedule last week.

The Hornets are set to open region play on the road in weeks two and three when they travel to Fruitdale and St. Luke’s. In week four, John Essex will host Marengo High School.

“Once I realized what the region was going to line up to be, I kind of took a wishlist with me to the meeting. The wishlist worked out for us the way I wanted it to,” John Essex head coach Jerome Antone said.

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Essex will play J.U. Blacksher for Homecoming in week six before traveling to A.L. Johnson in the seventh week of the season.

John Essex will wrap up region play at home when it hosts Linden in week eight and McIntosh in week nine.

“I feel that particular game was where we wanted it to be. That one and McIntosh.” – need experience before those games,” Antone said, pointing to his hope that his team will gain enough experience over the first seven weeks of the season to be competitive against Linden and McIntosh.

The Hornets’ new region schedule puts the team back in a grouping with fellow Marengo County schools Linden, A.L. Johnson and Marengo after Essex spent the last two seasons playing a number of less familiar teams from further away.

“I feel very strong as far as the cammaradarie among those kids,” Antone said of the relationship between athletes from various schools within the county. “They know each other. They talk to each other. Some of them live within 15 to 20 minutes of each other. It’s a good thing for all of the communities when we play each other.”

In its non-region slate, John Essex will host Sunshine in week one. IN the Tigers, Essex will face an opponent it has grown accustomed to after sharing the same region over the last two alignments. Sunshine also offers John Essex a road opponent not far from home.

“It’s close to home,” Antone said. “The way fuel prices are and proration, we wanted to stay as close to home as we could.”

Essex will face another team it has grown familiar with in week five when it travels to Autaugaville, a squad it has competed against over the last two region alignments.

In week 10, John Essex will close out at home when it faces Class 4A Monroe County.

“I feel as we can be very competitive with that 4A school. It is going to be better for our program. It gets the kids excited to play some new schools,” Antone said. “I feel very good about the non-region games. I feel as though we can be very competitive with those schools. We can be very competitive against those teams.”