Lining up against an opponent for the first time, the Prairie View Spartans will host a three-team jamboree Friday night at Dr. E.D. Baker Field.
Tallulah and Riverfield start the action at 7 p.m., followed by Prairie View vs. Riverfield at 7:40 and PVA vs. Tallulah at 8:20.
All three games will consist of one 15-minute quarter.
Coach Reagan Morrison says the Spartans will keep it simple in the jamboree.
“We're going to stay pretty vanilla,” said Morrison, who enters his third season as head coach. “What I'm really looking for is effort.”
Still, Morrison is anxious to see how the Spartans stack up against opposing teams.
“I'm looking forward to the jamboree, and I think the kids are too,” Morrison said. “They're tired of hitting on each other and ready to hit on someone else.”
Morrison says the Spartans have progressed throughout preseason practice.
“We've been getting better each and every day, both offensively and defensively,” Morrison said. “I like the kids effort and excitement.”
With all three teams dealing with a shortage of numbers, Morrison says safety precautions will be taken due to the heat.
“We'll have water breaks during the games because of the safety issue,” Morrison said.
In an effort to combat dehydration, Morrison implemented a no soda rule.
“We've stressed the importance of drinking plenty of fluids to our kids since the start of two-a-days,” Morrison said. “They seem to have have bought into it. I've noticed them drinking water, Powerade and
Gatorade at the softball games.”
The rule also applies to the coaching staff, though the penalty is more severe for the players.
“If they catch us drinking a soft drink, we have to do push-ups. (The players) have to run extra sprints after practice, but the coaches aren't running sprints,” Morrison laughed.
There is one notable exception to the rule.
“We can drink our morning coffee. We have to be awake when we get here,” assistant coach Dan Smart explained.
Two-time All-District middle linebacker/fullback/tight end Austin McDonald heads the Spartans' returnees. Other key defensive incumbents include outside linebackers Garrett Laird and Andrew Jenkins and cornerback Kory McLarrin.
Tackle Cooper Brown and wide receiver Maclendon Sharp are among the players to watch on the offensive side.
Prairie View opens the regular season at Claiborne Academy next Friday, before starting district play at home vs. Riverdale on Friday, Aug. 24.