Washington County’s Joel Ingram is known for scheduling tough opponents early in the season, even for scrimmages.
The Golden Hawks head coach will keep that tradition going tonight when they travel to Jefferson County at 7:30 p.m. The two are perennial state contenders in Class AA and are again looking for deep playoff runs.
“It’s always fun to play Jefferson County,” Ingram said. “We’re in each other’s backyards and some of them are family, related to each other.”
Before the first official game, though, comes an annual scrimmage that’s become an event in itself for area high school football teams. Like other area coaches, Ingram, entering his 12th season at Washington County, is looking for weaknesses during the scrimmage to address in practices leading up to the first game.
“We’re hoping to see it as a learning tool,” Ingram said. “We want them to learn and work hard. We feel like we want them to go against tough programs to test them. It helps to find deficiencies to troubleshoot. We don’t want to be blind to issues when it comes time to face region teams.”
Perhaps the biggest area scrimmage event is the annual Aiken County Scrimmage. The event matches up eight county teams over four games and 20-minute quarters each. This year’s scrimmage is at North Augusta tonight at 6:30, with gates opening at 5:30. Cost is $7.
Midland Valley will face Ridge Spring-Monetta in the first game at 6:30, followed by South Aiken and Williston-Elko at 7, Aiken and Wagener-Salley at 7:30, and North Augusta and Silver Bluff at 8.
The scrimmage gives teams one final warmup in game action before the season starts Aug. 18 for many. That includes South Aiken, which is coming off the best season in program history and starts Aug. 18 at Silver Bluff.
North Augusta will also start Aug. 18 at Lakeside to begin a challenging early-season slate that includes Evans, Lexington and Strom Thurmond. The scrimmage’s host school is expecting bigger things this year with a strong set of skill players.
Other area scrimmages include Thomson at Grovetown, Swainsboro at Aquinas, Burke County at Fitzgerald, Lincoln County at Evans and Augusta Prep at Bethesda. All are scheduled to begin at 7:30.
Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.