Thursday marks the first time in 264 days a local high school football team will take the field against another team.
It has been long enough.
Dalton will host Adairsville at 7 p.m. and Christian Heritage will welcome North Murray at 7:30 p.m. in two scrimmages, offering fans a chance for a sneak peak at what their teams will bring to the 2013 season.
Even if it’s just a game with no bearing on records, standings or playoff berths, it’s still a reminder that the real deal is quickly approaching. And considering the 264 days before, that’s probably more than enough to satisfy our appetite. It was Nov. 23, 2012 when Dalton lost 35-13 to Sandy Creek in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs. So 264 days since they’ve seen any action, and 278 for Christian Heritage and North Murray.
For the other three teams, it’ll be 279 days between games.
On Friday, there will be three more scrimmages. Southeast Whitfield plays at Murray County, Coahulla Creek welcomes Heritage-Catoosa and Northwest Whitfield hosts Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe. The game between the Raiders and the Indians begins at 7 p.m., while the other two games start at 7:30.
• This week also marks the first time in around nine months that any prep softball or volleyball games will be played in Whitfield and Murray counties.
Northwest Whitfield and Coahulla Creek start their season today at 5:55 p.m. when the schools face one another at the Lady Colts’ field at the Varnell school.
Christian Heritage hosts North Cobb Christian at 5 p.m. Tuesday, and Southeast Whitfield welcomes Rome at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Then six of the seven schools — all but Dalton — will play at the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Jack Maddox Recreational Complex. Two games involving local teams on the first day are Christian Heritage versus Coahulla Creek and North Murray against Northwest, both at 8 p.m. On day two, Christian Heritage and Murray County face at 1 p.m.
• As for prep volleyball, Northwest hosts Pickens and Ringgold Tuesday for a tri-match starting at 6 p.m. Then on Thursday, Dalton hosts Northwest and Coahulla Creek in a tri-match starting at 5 p.m.
And starting Friday, North Murray hosts its annual Spikefest tournament, which will include at least the Lady Mountaineers and Murray County.
Be sure to check out the local prep schedule, which has returned to page 3B.
• The Bradley Wellness Center Hiking Club will take a trip to Cades Cove in the Tennessee section of the Smoky Mountains from Friday to Sunday. The trip is free and open to BWC members and non-members, but campground requirements limit the number of registrants to 25. More details about the event will be discussed 6 p.m. Tuesday at the BWC, and attendance is mandatory if you wish to go on the trip. To sign up for the meeting, call (706) 278-9355.
• The Daily Citizen is compiling its master schedule for fall sports for area middle and high schools.
Athletic directors and coaches are asked to send schedules and rosters for cheerleading, cross country, football, softball and volleyball to email@example.com as soon as possible. This information will be used for the Local Prep Schedule, which appears daily in the newspaper’s Scoreboard section and online at daltonnow.com/events.
Any questions should be directed to Marty Kirkland, sports editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 272-7742.
Devin Golden is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Have something you think he should highlight in “A Look Ahead?” Write to him at email@example.com.