Minor-league football in Augusta is less than a week away.
On Saturday, the Augusta Heat opens its inaugural season in the six-team International League when it plays host to the Destrahan (La.) Chiefs at Evans High School's Blanchard Stadium at 7 p.m.
Other teams in the league are New Orleans (La.), Valdosta (Ga.), Greenville (S.C.) and Charleston (S.C.).
The Heat has several players of local interest on the team. Running backs Roderick Russell and Rico Tutt are former Georgia Southern players. Running back David Williams and linebacker Adrian Goodman represent the University of Georgia, while first-team Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection Glenn Mitts is from South Carolina State.
Also, former high school players include defensive end Lenny Wilkes (Hephzibah) and offensive lineman Jason Long (Richmond Academy).
"As far as quality of players go, we have guys from Georgia, Georgia Southern, Louisiana State, Rutgers and the University of Connecticut and several other Division I schools," Heat head coach Arthur Marshall said.
Also on the team is last year's NAIA Player of the Year, Mike Holaren. Last year, Holaren had 86 catches for 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns.
AUGUSTA HEAT SCHEDULE
July 10 -- Destrahan Chiefs, 7 p.m.; 17 -- Louisiana Hurricanes, 7 p.m.; 24 -- at Louisiana Hurricanes, 8 p.m.; 31 -- at South Carolina Seminoles, 7 p.m.
August 7 -- Valdosta Dawgs, 8 p.m.; 14 -- Carolina Twisters, 7 p.m.; 28 -- Golden Isle Sharks, 7 p.m.
September 5 -- at Carolina Twisters, 6 p.m.; 11 -- at Destrahan, La., 8 p.m.; 18 -- South Carolina Seminoles, 1 p.m.
Note: All home games will be played at Blanchard Stadium at Evans High School on Cox Road. Tickets are $10 for reserved seating and $8 for general admission. Season tickets are $49.99 and a family pass that includes two adults and two children age 17 and under is $179.99. For more ticket or game information, call (706) 854-PASS.