Many football fans have long debated the importance of NFL preseason games.
Often the front-line players see little action and most “experts” take nothing from a team going undefeated or winless. Personally, I think losing in the preseason, even in the pro ranks, creates a mentality that is often tough to escape. Case in point: the Atlanta Falcons from a year ago.
Colleges don’t have scrimmages, unless you count those against your teammates. Through the years, some college coaches have said a preseason game would be beneficial but others don’t see as much value to it.
It’s much different on the high school level. This past week all three of our Barrow County teams took the field for a preseason contest.
Bethlehem Christian Academy faced Thomas Jefferson on Aug. 13 while Apalachee High School and Winder-Barrow High School scrimmaged opponents two nights later.
All three coaches were looking for various things from these controlled contests. The AHS Wildcats were actually playing their second warm-up game.
BCA competed against a team which has been very successful at its level for several seasons. The score didn’t go the way the Knights wanted but it still helped to iron out a few things prior to this Friday’s season opener. BCA plays the first regular season football game in Barrow County when it hosts Windsor Academy.
For AHS and WBHS, last Friday night was a success. The Wildcats defeated Monroe Area 17-10. This is the same Monroe Area which has won numerous games in recent seasons with an offense which generated mind-boggling points and yardage.
Yes, this is a different Monroe Area, complete with a new head coach and many new players. However, it’s been said “a win is a win” and that’s what happened for AHS. The Wildcats led 17-10 after varsity play and the score remained the same after the junior varsity competed for a quarter.
At South Forsyth, the WBHS team trailed 28-21 after three quarters of varsity play but then scored late in the JV quarter to take a 29-28 win on the scoreboard. The Bulldoggs were successful on a two-point conversion which gave WBHS an unofficial one-point margin of victory.
Once again, it was just a scrimmage but it would have been hard to tell that from the reaction of the Bulldogg faithful who made the trek to South Forsyth.
AHS and WBHS have one more week to fine-tune a few things before their respective season openers. BCA gets things started this Friday. How much will the scrimmages help? Time will tell but hopefully each of our teams took away enough positives that will eventually pay dividends this fall.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.