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Gridiron hopes spring eternal

By Walter Geiger It’s August, the footballs are flying and, as they do every season, gridiron hopes spring eternal. Both the Lamar County Trojans and the Pike County Pirates have opened camp and have scrimmages on the near horizon as the regular season draws nigh. Sadly, the two teams will not play each other and the Battle of Potato Creek will be shelved at least for this fall. Both teams are in new regions and Lamar County has a new head coach and is switching from a Wing-T attack to a spread offense. The Trojans will compete in Region 5AA this fall with two Columbus schools, Jordan and Spencer, as well as Callaway, Heard County and Temple. The Pirates moved down in Classification from AAAA and will compete in Region 4-AAA with Peach County, Westside (Macon), Jackson, Central (Macon), Kendrick and Rutland. Coach Bryan Love, formerly of Westlake High in Atlanta, is now at the helm at Lamar County. His teams went 24-11 during his three years at Westlake. Fans can get their first glimpse of his fast-paced offense Friday night at Trojan Field at an intrasquad scrimmage at 6 p.m. Since the Trojans opted out of spring practice, they get to have two preseason scrimmages with other schools. Both will be at Trojan Field. South Atlanta comes to town Aug. 12 and Monticello is here on Aug. 16. Both those preseason contests kick off at 7 p.m. The Trojans open regular season play August 26 at NE Macon. Head coach Brad Webber is back for his sixth season at the helm of the Pirate football program. He holds a career mark of 19-33. The Pirates scrimmage once at McIntosh High on Thursday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. The Pirates open regular season play August 19 when they host Ola at 8 p.m. in Zebulon. Hopes are high in Athens and on The Flats at Georgia Tech as well. Georgia finally parted with the good but never great Mark Richt and brought in former Dawg defensive back Kirby Smart as head coach. Smart spent the better part of his coaching career as Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator at Alabama. He has already revved up recruiting, drew 93,000 plus to the annual G Day game and hired a stellar staff. Smart has to win and he has to win quickly. He is keenly aware of that fact. Tech, under coach Paul Johnson, will be hoping to rebound from a disappointing 2015 campaign. The LC 3 – former Trojan stars Lance and Lawrence Austin and Qua Searcy – will be juniors and figure prominently in the Jackets’ plans. As always, it will be an interesting season and it can’t get here soon enough!

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