Shelby County ready for Bibb County in jamboree

Published 2:46 pm Thursday, August 22, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

 According to Shelby County head coach Brent Smith, enough is enough. His team is tired of facing the same opponent each week — themselves.

“Three weeks of hitting each other gets kind of old,” he said. “We want to compete against someone else.”

The Wildcats will get that opportunity as they take on the Bibb County Choctaws Aug. 22 in a exhibition matchup at home.

For SCHS, the jamboree presents an opportunity to fine tune the spread offense, as well as a last audition for would-be starters. Smith said the jamboree game will be looked at not only as gauge for how far the team has come over the summer, but a chance to see who can handle the pressure of a real game.

“The biggest thing is kids competing for spots,” Smith said. “(It) gives kids the opportunity to show where they are in a game situation.”

In a similar format to many jamborees, the Wildcats will only play their starters in the first half, let their second team play in the third quarter and their younger players take over the fourth, Smith said.

One of the main concerns of any team is keeping its starters healthy. Smith said Shelby County was no different, but would not stray from treating the game lightly.

“You got to play,” he said. “That’s (part) of the game. If one guy gets hurt, another steps up.”

The Wildcats have the benefit of staying at home for their jamboree before travelling to Thompson for week one of the regular season. Smith said with an exhibition game, home field advantage might not be as big a factor.

With the hometown crowd abuzz for the first game of the year, Smith said he felt knowing who was in the stands might make them more apt to jitters.

The Wildcats will kick off at 7 p.m. at Wildcats Stadium, located at 101 Washington St. in Columbiana.