Where’s the monotony in a jamboree game?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 19, 2010

Red Level’s Tevin James (8) runs the ball back on a kick off return at practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Pleasant Home coach Robert Bradford and Red Level coach Tony Ingram both said Wednesday their players are ready to start tackling somebody else other than each other Friday night in a jamboree game at PHS.

“Our guys are at the point at practice where they’re tired of practicing,” Ingram said. “When the season gets going, you work toward a goal that is Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then you play Friday night.

“Since August — actually the last week in July — we’ve been going at each other,” he said. “They’re just ready to hit somebody else, to break up the monotony.”

The last time these two teams met was at last season’s jamboree game in Red Level, where Ingram coached his first game as a head football coach. Red Level won the game 20-13.

Bradford said his team is “looking forward” to playing the Tigers Friday night.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Bradford said. “Our team and their team have participated in a lot of off-season stuff together. They usually come over to an offensive linemen camp we have over here, so our kids know their kids really well.

“Our coaching staff and their coaching staff get along real well,” he said. “It’s a fun, competitive rivalry, especially when it’s a practice game. Of course, you always want to win. The outcome is not as important in a game like this.”

The jamboree will start at 7 Friday night, and the cost of admission is $6 per person.

Bradford said since the new parking lot is finished at the football field, there should be more than enough parking.

Ingram said the “keys” to the game Friday night lie in “getting better.”

“I know we’re not ready as far as the timing and executing, but we want to get better and sharper,” he said. “That’s what we want to do. I’m looking for a little fire and competitiveness, and then we’ll fine tune what we’re working on.”

“Execution” is the No. 1 key for Pleasant Home, Bradford said.

“Our guys have really got to get on the blocks,” Bradford said. “On defense, we’ve really got to be really good reading the schemes and running the football.

“I think we’ve got to be a little bit better at the little things than they do because of how athletic their kids are,” he said. “They’ll make great plays because of their shear athleticism. For us, it’s all about execution.”

Ingram said with Pleasant Home, the offensive and defensive lines might be cause for concern.

“I don’t think we’ll see too many lines as big as this,” Ingram said. “It makes us better to go against people like this. They’re huge. I know they’ve worked all summer, so we’ve got to get better.”

There are two ways a jamboree game can help a football team before the regular season kicks off.

The first thing is the game allows coaches to evaluate their players on the field, and the second is the game gets the players ready for the season, Ingram said.

“It gives you something where you can start evaluating who can play where and who can’t play where,” Ingram said. “For the first time in a while here, we’ve got enough people where we’ve been able to go at least the first offensive line against the first defensive line in scrimmage.

“It just prepares you better, and going against Pleasant Home will prepare us even better because they’re going to be as big a bunch as we’ve faced,” he said. “I know they’re going to play hard.”

Bradford echoed what Ingram said about how a jamboree game can help a football team.

“Our kids are really excited,” Bradford said. “They’re excited to be able to hit on somebody else besides themselves. They’re just ready to get out there and compete.

“It really lets you know what you need to work on in the first week, when it really counts,” he said.