After all the sweat, pain, heat and practices the Dawson County Tiger football team will finally get the chance to play someone else this week.
The Tigers will play host to Towns County in a preseason scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Coach Jeff Lee and his team have been eagerly anticipating the opening of the 2012 season.
"This could be one of the best teams in Dawson County history," Lee said. "We must stay healthy."
Last Friday the Tigers played an inter-squad scrimmage game at Veterans Memorial Park.
"We decided to hold a practice at Veterans, so the recreation coaches and teams could observe our drills and how we conduct practice. We had held a coaches clinic earlier in the preseason, so to give a better insight for those coaches as to what we were doing," Lee said.
Weather played a factor in the length of the scrimmage. The scrimmage was cut short because of lightning in the area.
"In the brief segment that we did get in, I thought the effort was really good and the execution of the kids was pretty good. We still have a ways to go in our final preparation," Lee said.
Lee was impressed by the play of fullback, Zach Martin, on offense and Cale Tallant on defense during Friday's event.
"Zach is starting to get himself into game shape. He will be a force for us on offense," Lee said.
"On offense, we are so far ahead of where we have been in years past. We have more team speed than before, a veteran offensive line, experience at both running back and wide receiver. As we have our base offense in, we will begin to install more screens and passing concepts," he added.
The team intends to speed up the defense too.
"On defense, we are playing with more of a sense of urgency than in years past. Overall Coach Jed Lacey, defensive coordinator, has installed a sense of pride in that unit. We expect to cause more turnovers this season, as that has been a source of concentration," Lee said.
Execution will be the focus of Friday's scrimmage game against Towns County.
"We will try to execute our base packages on offense and defense. We want to be able to play a lot of folks and see how the base plan works against another opponent. With our first game next week, it is important to have all phases getting better. The game will be controlled to a certain degree. Live rushed kicks will probably not be used," Lee said.
A lot of enthusiasm has been shown thus far by the 21 seniors on Lee's squad.
Friday night will be a chance to exhibit what Lee, staff and the players have been waiting for since the end of last season.
Lee would like to encourage the entire community to come out and support the Tiger football team.
The first regular season game will be a Region 7-AAA match-up with an athletic East Hall team on Aug. 24.
The game will be played at Tiger Stadium with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.