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Bulldogs excited, anxious

Andalusia’s Keontae Freeney runs a tackling drill at practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia coach Brian Seymore said the team is excited to have the opportunity to play such a “top caliber team” in Luverne tonight at home for a pre-season jamboree game.

“We originally talked about playing each other on the first game of the season,” Seymore said. “It was going to be an open game. It didn’t work out. Luverne got caught in some scheduling conflicts with their team in their county with Highland Home and Brantley. (Luverne coach Les Sanders) told me he’d agree to play me in the preseason.”

The Bulldogs will be facing a team that went 10-4 last season, and lost in the Class 3A state semifinals.

Seymore said he knows what type of program Sanders runs in Luverne.

“Coach Les and I are good friends, and he does a great job at Luverne,” he said. “He did an outstanding job (in 2009), and he’s got all of those kids back. I know they’re very talented up front on the offensive and defensive lines.

“They have four kids that are All Wiregrass preseason players,” he said. “Two of them are on the offensive line and two are defensive line. We’re going to have to do a good job up front and on both sides of the ball.”

The jamboree game tonight will start at 7, and both the older and younger players will get the chance to play.

The first three quarters will be for the older players, and the last quarter will be for the younger players.

Seymore said the keys to tonight’s match up are to “not turn the ball over” and “stopping the run.”

“With the weather, I always think about turnovers,” he said. “I feel really good about our chances if we don’t turn the football over. The team with the least turnovers will have the advantage over the other.

“I’m really anxious to see how our defense will match up against the run,” he said. “We’re really stressing stopping the run, and I’m really excited about that. I want to see how those guys come off and see how these guys run down hill. We’re probably going to emphasize more on the power game.”

No matter the score, Seymore said when the game is over, the team will know they played a quality opponent.

“I like the game being against Luverne because it’s going to be a good pre-season test,” Seymore said. “You can definitely walk out of there knowing that you played a top caliber team, and you know what you have to work on and the improvements you’re going to have to make to get ready for the first week of the season.”

Every day this week, the weather has been a factor at practices.

Seymore said as of Thursday, if he were to give a grade on the practice so far, he’d give the team a “B-plus.”

“Usually we’ll go in the gym and it’s not as good,” he said. “The focus isn’t there at times, and in the days where we had to go in the gym, I felt like our kids were still focused and they were really paying attentiion to what we’re trying to coach them up on.”

Seymore said he hopes the community will come out and support the team tonight as they get prepare for the 2010 season.

“I’m really happy with our coaching staff with the addition of our new coaches,” he said. “It’s going to be definitely a challenge, but we’re looking for good things (tonight) and from the season to come.”