South Stokes kicked off their 2018 football season on Monday, July 30 by hosting Midnight Madness at the high school. More than 100 spectators attended the 12 a.m. practice as coach Mike Holmes and his staff ran through individual and team drills with 40 football players in attendance.
“This was a good thing for our kids to experience tonight,” Holmes said. “It’s about having fun and getting better every day. We stress to our kids at practice about being better today than yesterday and being better tomorrow. The kids are buying in to what we are trying to accomplish and that is to build a football program here at South Stokes.”
The Sauras will return Adam McMillan and Ryan Moses in the backfield. Both running backs gained more than 1,000 yards behind an experienced line. The defense will be anchored by all-conference linebackers Ross Cooper and Steven Fatz and all-conference defensive back P.T. Fischer will return for his senior year. He collected four interceptions and tallied 55 tackles last season.
Jimmy Upchurch and West Stokes hosted their 16th Annual Purple and Gold inter-squad scrimmage in front of family and friends Monday night at the school to kick off their football season.
“It was a great night of football and I was very happy with what I saw,” Upchurch said. “Our offense is definitely ahead of our defense. Normally it’s the other way around this early in the season. We have installed a new system and coach (Tanner) Haynes has done a great job with the offensive line. We have a few things to work out, but we could be pretty good if things fall into place.”
West will return eight starters on offense and replace three graduating offensive lineman. All-conference running back Chris Brown will return after gaining more than 1,000 yards last season and quarterback Tyler Smith will have plenty of weapons on the offense. Returning are Dustin Blevins, Amon Conrad, Kelin Parsons, and Zan Sandlin as big targets.
Both South and West will open against each other on August 17 at 7:30 p.m. The Sauras host the Wildcats for the 20th meeting between the schools. West holds a 15-4 advantage and won five straight including last season’s 35-14 victory. The Sauras last win was 35-9 in 2012. On Thursday August 16, the JV Sauras will host the Wildcats at 7 p.m.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.