By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Callaway Cavaliers will take a trial run on Friday.
With their season opener coming up in two weeks, Callaway will be at Callaway Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m. for an intra-squad scrimmage.
The scrimmage will not only give the Cavaliers an opportunity to get some valuable work in on the field, but the players and coaches, and the fans, will also get an idea of what game nights will be like now with the restrictions put in place because of Covid-19.
“It’s a good opportunity to prepare for our opening game,” said Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins, whose team will open its season against Troup on Sept. 11. “It’s really our only opportunity to be at the stadium to prepare for a game. We’re going to use that stage to put our team in situations that we’ll see when we open up against Troup.”
Wiggins said the coaches and players will follow the guidelines that were put in place by the Troup County school system.
“Last week, our county presented new guidelines that we’re going to have to adhere to,” Wiggins said. “So trying to become accustomed to
those procedures will be a little different, but it has to become routine, just like anything else. That’s what we’re hoping to establish with that scrimmage.”
Last week, the athletics directors at Callaway, LaGrange and Troup met with assistant superintendent Chip Medders to come up with a set of guidelines for game nights at Callaway Stadium.
Those guidelines were approved and will be in place for every game at the stadium this season, including the showdown between Callaway and Troup in two weeks.
“The hydration aspect of it is a little different,” Wiggins said. “And when you’re on the sidelines, if helmets are not on, there’s an expectation to have on a mask. And then the expectations of coaches having on masks. So there are some differences that we’re going to work on, and hopefully they become routine.”
While most teams in Georgia will open their seasons next week, Callaway won’t play because its scheduled season opener against Opelika was canceled because of the Georgia High School Association’s decision to push the start of the season back two weeks.
“We’ve been practicing a long time, and it’s still two weeks before we play,” Wiggins said. “It’s a long time until we play. To have the opportunity to go out and play at Callaway Stadium in front of fans, in front of family, under the lights, is a good situation. It just breaks up the every-day routine that we’ve been using for a long time. The kids are excited about that opportunity.”
Callaway will play eight regular-season games this season, beginning with the showdown against Troup on Sept. 11.
After playing Hardaway, Douglass-Atlanta and Thomas County-Central, Callaway closes the regular season with Region 5-AA games against Haralson County, Bremen, Temple and Heard.
Callaway is coming off another fantastic season under Wiggins, who has a 138-47 record since taking over the program in 2005.
The Cavaliers went 12-2 last season and reached the state semifinals for the second year in a row and for the fourth time since 2013. Callaway has won at least one playoff game every year but once since 2008, and it has been to the third round or further for four straight seasons.
OF NOTE: Callaway Middle will also have an intra-squad scrimmage at Callaway Stadium starting at 5 p.m., and the Callaway scrimmage starts at 7 p.m