Spring fever is upon us-of the football variety.
This Saturday the Dawson County Tigers Spring Kick-Off Game will give fans a glimpse of the future of football at Dawson County High School.
That's where Head Coach Sid Maxwell's focus is.
"The big thing we are trying to do is get a handle on our eighth through twelfth. Eighth grade is a part of our high school now. We just went ahead and said since ninth grade is going to be over there, let's go ahead and encompass eighth grade into our program," Maxwell said.
With the school realignments in the fall, there is the opportunity to begin working with football players earlier on, but Maxwell has gone even farther.
The high school coaching staff invited the youth coaches to come in and get to know the system.
"We are going to have a clinic with them. They are going to come out and watch practice and be on the field with us," he said. "We are going to bring them in and show them our system, what we do."
Players will begin learning the system as early as elementary school through the park and rec program.
"That's the key. You do that and you will have great success," said defensive coordinator Brent Cox about the efforts to teach the players the system at a young age.
This year Dawson County will have an eighth grade team, a ninth grade team and the varsity.
"We had to purchase quite a bit of equipment. Right now our numbers are running probably about 180 kids," Maxwell said. "We are trying to manage all that through spring. That's one of the reasons we've got to find a way to be creative with our spring game...We will have eighth and ninth playing together, some ninth and tenth playing together."
Last season Dawson football had a history making year when they finished 9-4 overall and 5-1 in the region. It was a school record for wins and they were region 7-AAA champions. They also made it to the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
As the community looks toward another season, the spring game will let people literally see the future of the program.
"Next year we will actually get to go out and play somebody. That's the new rule change. We will be able to play an opponent during the spring," Maxwell said.
There will also be activities for the whole family including a dunk tank, inflatables and light concessions.
"Our big thing is about community and family," Cox said.
Gates open at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Dawson County High School. Kick-off is set for noon. Tickets for the game can be purchased at the gate for $5. There are also $10 tickets available which will include a barbecue plate with a sandwich, baked beans, chips, cole slaw and dessert. To purchase tickets in advance, please call (678)232-0148.