Wildcats to showcase work

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, August 28, 2012

After defeating Rocky Bayou, Fla., a team who is similar to Central Hayneville, the Florala Wildcats open their season against the Lions Friday night at Mathews Stadium. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Florala head football coach Justin Jones said he’s “excited” for Wildcats fans to be able to see what his team is made of this Friday night as they take on Central Hayneville at Mathews Stadium.

Central Hayneville, a Class 2A school, is more of a spread offense type team that has athletes who can run the ball, Jones said.

“We’ve got to do a good job of bottling them up and not let them get on top of us on the defensive side of the ball,” Jones said. “Offensively, we’ve just got to not let them have the ball as much — play keep away.”

Jones said those were his team’s keys to success this week and added that “we want to keep them in front of us.”

“We want to play an 11-man defense,” he said. “They do spread it out to run more than they do throw.”

Forecasters predict that Tropical Storm Isaac will make land fall tomorrow.

Jones said the team will practice like it has all this month as rain has been a constant.

“August has been a little different than normal,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot more rain this month than most people have.

“We’ll take the same approach that we’ve taken over the past few weeks when it comes to practicing in the rain,” he said.

The Lions are coming off of an 0-9 2011 season. The Wildcats finished 2011 with a 2-8 record.

Like every school in Alabama who has a football team, whether it is high school or college, FHS and its community are excited about the upcoming season, Jones said.

“Our kids are excited,” he said. “I think our community is excited. It’s just that time of year. It’s football time.

“It’s just a good time of year for anybody, especially in the state of Alabama,” he said. “We’re going to be a little bit wet this week, but I think it’s going to get out of here by Friday and it’s going to cool off a little bit maybe from the storm.”

By the time FHS hits the field at Mathews Stadium on Friday, Jones said he hopes the team will have established itself a new “identity.”

“You hope to have established an identity is what you’re trying to do as a football team,” he said. “To see who steps up as a form of a leader on the field. That’s what we’re loking forward to (Friday night).

“We’re excited for our community to come out and support us,” he said. “Our job is to put a product out on the field they can be proud of. That’ our goal this Friday. When folks come out and pay good money that they can see the product on the field is something to be proud of. That’s where we’re headed.”

Kick off Friday is at 7 p.m.