We’re heading into week four of high school football, and everything is about to ratchet up, especially for the higher classifications.
On Friday, Arnold and Bay High will open up district play against each other.
Bay High will be the home team, meaning they’ll be playing at Tommy Oliver Stadium.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the Tornadoes. After beating rival Rutherford to open the season, they’ve since lost to both Crestview and Port St. Joe in consecutive weeks and were outscored 95 to 0 in the process.
Of course when you’re talking about an in county game, you can throw all of that out the window.
Bragging rights are on the line, and coach Mike Watkins says the energy is always a little different before a game like this.
“It always changes in county,” Coach Watkins says, “They know a lot of those kids. They’ve grown up with those kids. I’m sure there’s talk on social media, which is something we try to avoid, but it’s kind of inecvitable in our society today. The kids get fired up. They’re geared up for it. They get bragging rights in county for the next calendar year, so hopefully we see that when we’re breaking down film on Friday and Saturday that we played with great effort and energy.”
On the other hand, the Marlins are coming off a huge win.
They crushed Walton 54-0 to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Of course, the rivalry aspect is there for Arnold, as well, but there’s another reason why the team is excited.
It’s their first time playing at Tommy Oliver in over two years.
Coach Josh Wright says the kids are excited to go check out the new digs.
“It will be a great experience for everyone to play at Tommy Oliver for the first time in a long time to play on the new stadium in the new turf,” Coach Wright says, “It’ll be exciting. Our guys are aware of who we’re playing. We’ve gone back and forth with them. It does start our three game rivalry series, because it’s Bay, then Mosley, then Rutherford in that order.”