The 2018 Pulaski County football team will make its first public appearance Saturday morning in Kenneth J. Dobson Stadium at 11 am. It will be the annual Touchdown Classic and the competition will be considerable. Coming to Dobson will be Class 3 powerhouse Magna Vista and Bluefield, West Virginia. The Beavers will be coming in on a 14-game winning streak after winning another state championship last fall. They are favored to do so again.
Magna Vista will be led by quarterback Freddie Roberts, a duel threat pass/run player. Louis Taylor, a 1,000 yard rusher returns at running back. The Warriors are huge at the line of scrimmage; 305, 270, 280, 295, 280, and 300 on the offensive and defensive fronts.
Bluefield is even more impressive. The Beavers return a speedy quarterback and running back from the state championship team, but have accumulated a truckload of very large linemen. The leader is Emanuel Dowell at 6-1, 280 and the only two-way lineman for Bluefield. The others would stress any set of scales at 6-1, 280, 6-5, 370, 6-1, 290, 6-3, 265, 6-7, 285, and 6-3, 260.
The main gate will open to Dobson Stadium at 10:15 am. Junior varsity action will get underway at 11 am. All varsity and junior varsity action Saturday will take place inside the stadium. There will be no action behind the stadium.
The Pulaski County football program is asking those in attendance for a donation of $10. That not only gets you in Dobson Stadium for all the football action, but each person who makes the $10 donation will receive a meal ticket and you will dine on fresh pit cooked barbecue, baked beans, and cole slaw. Should you not desire to have the barbecue dinner then you can make whatever donation you desire and enjoy the football. The concession stand will be open Saturday in the stadium, but cold drinks will be the only thing available.
This is a big day for a Pulaski County football team that has some proven veteran players, but will also be relying on some young players to fill out the lineup. The team has had a serious summer of football, facing Dinwiddie and Lord Botetourt in a three-day camp at Ferrum in June, and a tough, and hot month of work in preparation for the beginning of the 2018 season. There has been a noticeable push in the Cougar camp.
Saturday is the first big step for the Cougars. Head coach Stephen James is excited about it. Playing time, starting jobs are at stake for Pulaski County.
“It will be very interesting. I’m excited to see what this team does, and how some young sophomores perform. We have a chance to be a better football team. The kids have worked very hard. We’re going to be different, on offense and defense. We want more balance offensively, we need to run the ball better, and on defense we’re excited to see what the kids can do. We’re not that big for sure, and we’ve got quickness, and have been more aggressive. It’s a big day for the kids. Starting jobs can be won or lost. So it’s important, and after looking at film on both Bluefield and Magna Vista, Pulaski County’s team needs to be ready to go,” said James.
James likes the test his team will try to pass Saturday. “We are facing two very good football teams, but I like it. Are our kids ready to step into the fire? We need to throw ourselves into a real battle and find our what we’re made of. This will be very important to us, and we’ll know if we’re coming together as a team, and it’s always a good idea to face people that will test your toughness. We need to pass the test,” said James.
Pulaski County will counter with a record setting passing and receiving combo of Kade Akers and E.J. Horton from last season, but James will be determined to run the football Saturday. He likes his young backs, and believes he has a stronger offensive line to go along with a quick, ball hawking defense. It looks like a great day of high school football in Dobson Stadium Saturday. Photo Day for the team is 1:30 Friday in Dobson.
By DAN CALLAHAN, The Patriot