Bobby Haven/The News

Let’s call it a false start, without a penalty.

Scrimmage week for Georgia High School Association football programs comes to its climax Friday night. Glynn County Stadium won’t host any scrimmages this season.

Meanwhile, Frederica Academy will cross state lines to open its regular season against an out-of-state opponent.

Here’s a look ahead to the area teams in action this week:


While the GHSA schools are still in preparation mode, Frederica is kicking off its regular season in Montgomery, Ala., at the Southeastern Conferences of Independent Schools Kickoff.

Frederica is one of a handful of independent schools from southeastern states participating in the event, set to play Parklane Academy.

The south-Mississippi private school finished with a 5-6 record last season and endured a brutal schedule with losses against Mississippi Association of Independent Schools powerhouses Madison-Ridgeland Academy, Jackson Prep and Copiah Academy — both in the regular season and in the first round of the playoffs.

Frederica head coach Brandon Derrick said he expects Parklane to utilize it’s size advantage up front, while the Knights will press its athletic advantage and demonstrate whether the offseason will pay off.

“I think so far everybody we play we feel like we’re in good shape,” Derrick said. “We have to be in good shape, and have guys prepared.”


The Red Terrors will play last year’s 1A Public runner-up Buccaneers in Darien to complete second half of the home-and-away agreement that started with last year’s scrimmage in Glynn County Stadium.

The 6A Terrors finished the regular season at 9-1 in 2016, its one loss coming to Benedictine in the regular season opener. The Cadets, another team familiar with the Georgia Dome turf, will begin its 2A title defense on the road when it plays Glynn Academy in Glynn County Stadium next week. Benedictine hasn’t lost a game since Nov. 27, 2015, and Glynn Academy’s last chance to prepare is against the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers will use the scrimmage to demo some inexperienced players in its linebacking corps that help the MCA defense allow just more than 10 points per game last season.

“With us being single-A, the idea is to keep our best guys on the field,” Toomer said.

“At the same time, we’re going to look for depth to roll those guys in and out.”


The Pirates and Panthers also played during the 2016 preseason, but it’s safe to say the Panthers can expect to see a different looking Pirates team this season.

While some of the skill players are returning for the Pirates — including quarterback Jamarius Stevens, wide receivers DJ Whitfield and Kalvin Godette and defensive back Jaylin Jackson — the offense might utilize some of those skill players differently.

Sean Pender debuted a small portion of his offensive playbook during the spring game against Glynn Academy. On Friday night against Liberty, Brunswick will have a full offseason of experience to draw from.

“We’ll watch a little bit of the film that we have from Liberty, but we’re not focused on game-planning for Liberty,” Pender said.

We’re more about focusing for ourselves than game-planning for an opponent.”


In Bob Sphire’s first season with the Wildcats, he’s orchestrating a major transition from the classic wing-T offense to Sphire’s trademark spread scheme.

The Wildcats are testing that scheme in its scrimmage against Ware County, which rolled to an 8-4 season (4-0 Region 2-5A) in 2016 before it was eliminated from the playoffs by 5A champion Rome High.

Sphire’s approach to the games leading up to Camden’s region schedule is one of patience.

“We have scrimmage and non-region games before we get to the region games that really matter,” Sphire said. “We want to win every game but I’m looking at the finish line down the stretch, and not worried about if we over do it right now.”