Florala to play McKenzie in season opener

Published 11:14 pm Friday, September 5, 2008

The Florala Wildcats will open their 2008 football season Friday night when they travel to play a region opponent, the McKenzie Tigers (1-0).

Last week, the Wildcats had an open week and head coach Stan Gooden said that during practice the team has been focused on how to improve the Wildcats.

“We didn’t play last week, so since then, we’ve worked on Florala,” Gooden said. “We’ve been working on McKenzie, but it’s hard to simulate their speed in practice. The team has one game experience under their belts, but we’re still very green.”

Gooden said McKenzie is a tough team with skills that are going to be used against Florala.

“They’re big, athletic and fast,” he said. “I just hope we can stay on the field with them. They are well coached and run the spread offense really well. They are tough to tackle and block. We’ve got our part cut out for us on Friday. We’re going to go in there and play our best and whatever happens, we’re going to improve on that next week against Brantley.”

Gooden added that the team as a whole is excited about the opportunity to go and play against McKenzie.

“We’re just excited about going and playing against McKenzie,” he said. “This might be one of those games where somebody overlooks us and we pull out a win. Who knows, we’re going to go over and play hard and whatever happens, happens.”

With this being Gooden’s first game as a head football coach, he said so far, a lot of people have come in and helped get ready for the game.

“I haven’t had to worry about a whole lot,” he said. “It’s a little bit tougher when you travel and have to load up and take your stuff somewhere else. The assistant coaches have done a good job with that. This is the first game and I hope we go out and do what we’ve done at practice. I think we’ve improved since the preseason game. How much? I can’t tell you, but I’ll have an answer after Friday night.”

Kickoff is in McKenzie is at 7 p.m.