The lights will turn on Friday in Catawba County, and high school teams in the county from take the field looking for their first win of the 2010 season. Two teams, however, will be left out of that excitement-filled night.
The Hickory Red Tornadoes and Newton-Conover Red Devils wait till Aug. 27 to start the football season, and they get one more week of practice under their belts. Newton-Conover plays at home against East Lincoln, and Hickory travels next week to Statesville.
“This gets us more prepared for the first game,” Hickory quarterback Kyle Johnson said. “I think that week is better for us so we can to come together as a team.”
He added it also gives Hickory an extra week to learn plays, work with new players, and improve as a group. Lineman D.J. Mouzon said the Red Tornadoes struggled Saturday in a scrimmage against Maiden and made “a lot of mistakes.”
The week is also a chance for the players to build up more excitement in anticipation of the opening kickoff.
“I’m already stressed a lot because Statesville beat us last year,” Mouzon said. “It’s time to just get ready, get out there and just go walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.”
Johnson said he doesn’t usually get nervous before the start of a game. He added the extra week is time for individual players to get more motivation and try to set the momentum right for the rest of the season.
“I think it is a better thing,” he said.