Jamborees usher in new football season


Sand Rock coach Russell Jacoway and the Wildcats host Cedar Bluff, Gaylesville, Spring Garden, Fyffe, Saks and Section for a jamboree starting at 5 p.m. Thursday. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden ITmes | File)


The high school football season is set to kick off — sort of.

Area teams will be playing in jamborees Thursday and Friday night. The preseason matchups serve as a tune-up for the regular season, which starts next week.

There are three marquee games on the schedule in Etowah County, and it’s hard to imagine one that will have more of a regular-season feel than Southside vs. Glencoe.

The game is set to kick off Thursday night at 7 at Wilson-Darnell Stadium in Glencoe. It is described as one of the biggest rivalries in Etowah County, yet the teams have not squared off since 2009 because of scheduling conflicts.

Before 2009, the Panthers and Yellow Jackets played every year since 1969, and the series dates to 1930 — according to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society.

Also Thursday night, Gadsden City hosts Etowah. The schools have a limited history, with Gadsden City winning all four meetings, but with the proximity and size of the schools, Titan Stadium should be packed for the 6 p.m. kick.

A pair of teams that have moved up in classifications in 2012 also meet tonight. Hokes Bluff, which moved from Class 3A to 4A, hosts Gaston, which stepped up to 2A from 1A, at 7 p.m.

In other jamborees involving Etowah County teams, Sardis hosts Geraldine and Cherokee County beginning at 7 p.m. Friday. Also Friday, West End plays at Brindlee Mountain in a four-team meeting. Holly Pond and Danville also will be participating in the jamboree beginning at 7 p.m. Westbrook will play against Ragland and Ashville in Ragland beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.

Several area teams travel to Sand Rock on Thursday night for a jamboree. Sand Rock, Cedar Bluff, Gaylesville, Spring Garden, Fyffe, Saks and Section each will hit the field beginning at 5 p.m. at Russell Jacoway Stadium. It will be a special night in Plainview as the Bears host Boaz. It’s the first game at Plainview’s home field since it was damaged in the April 2011 tornadoes. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Also Thursday night, Albertville travels to Douglas (6:30 p.m.), Piedmont travels to Jacksonville (7 p.m.), Collinsville travels to North Sand Mountain (6 p.m) and Sylvania hosts Guntersville (6:30 p.m.).

On Friday night, Fort Payne hosts Dade County (Ga.) at 7.