McKenzie braces for HurricanesBy Kevin Taylor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 25, 2005

McKenzie head coach David Kirkland has probably spent more time on the telephone than watching game film over the last few days.

He's been spending hours at a time trying to get just a shred of information about his season-opening opponent Flomaton. He hadn't had much luck by Monday afternoon, but that didn't mean he was going to stop trying.

"I'll keep trying until I get someone to tell me something," he said.

Kirkland is in the same situation as most coaches around the state. There is no game film to exchange or many other coaches to call to get any type information because there's no game film to watch unless it's a preseason game.

"The season-opener truly is the hardest to prepare for because you don't know what the other guy will do," Kirkland said.

And if what Flomaton coach Don Thornton says is true, then any tape on the Hurricanes Kirkland has is being kept in vain because Thornton says he's opting for a new offense.

"We'll run out of the shotgun more this year," Thornton said. "We've run the wing-T ever since I've been here. I just felt like we needed a change to find what the kids would fit into and enjoy."

The wing-T offense didn't result into any victories last year for the Hurricanes, who finished the season 0-9.

"I think the change gives us a different attitude and a different outlook,"Thornton said.

But Kirkland said he isn't concerned with what Flomaton lines up in on Friday.

"I've got adjustments for anything they throw at us," he said. "In previous years he's run the wing-T. I wouldn't be surprised if his new offense isn't the wing-T in a shotgun formation."

Whatever the offense may be, it will be led by senior quarterback Mike Wedgeworth. Wedgeworth won out the starting job over Scott Walton, Thornton said.

Although the Hurricanes closed the season with a winless mark, Thornton said the attitude of his players has been upbeat. The Hurricanes will also come into Friday's opener with some momentum after knocking off J.U. Blacksher in a preseason game, 13-6, last Friday.

"We didn't lose any players, and they come to work every day," Thornton said of his 32-man squad.

McKenzie held on for its only win of the season by knocking off Flomaton 14-8 last season, so revenge certainly wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for the Hurricanes.

"We'd like to pay them back," Thornton said.