Fall Preview night coming to McLouth
McLouth fans will get a sneak peek of their favorite hometown athletes on Friday at Fall Preview night, which features teams from McLouth's middle and high schools.
The festivities get under way at 5:30 p.m. when the MMS volleyball team takes the floor for a brief scrimmage. Their volleyball elders, the MHS Bulldogs, will follow that up at 6 p.m.
At the same time, the middle school football team will start its scrimmage, setting the table for the night's main event, the MHS football scrimmage at 7 p.m. The MHS cross country team also will make its 2008 debut at the Stan Braksick Sports Complex during the Bulldogs' scrimmage.
MHS athletics director Tom Pierce said the high school has held Fall Preview night for years but the middle school just joined the fold recently. He said it should be an exciting night.
"It's a new year," Pierce said. "Everybody's hopes are high."
The players' parents, likely McLouth's biggest fans, might be looking forward to the Fall Preview more than anyone.
"It's a fun night for the parents to come out and see the kids (in uniform) for the first time," Pierce said of the dress rehearsal. "It's only a week away from regular game time and there's just that anticipation and excitement."
The exhibitions, complete with referees, will give the players and coaches a chance to prepare for the approaching regular season.
For the two football teams, Friday will mark the debut of a new head coach. Travis Torkelson is the new middle school coach and Chris Stewart, former MHS defensive coordinator, will take the reigns for the Bulldogs.
Stewart said he and his staff are looking forward to the scrimmage.
"We're all really excited and have anxiety about what's going to happen like any coaches would," he said with a laugh.
The first-year coach said there is just as much anticipation for the players.
"They're getting really excited now," he said. "Once you get into the season, your adrenaline starts pumping a little bit more at practice."
Stewart said McLouth High football fans shouldn't expect to see anything extraordinary at the Fall Preview.
"It'll be pretty basic, just trying to get our plays down and blocking schemes down," he said, noting the exhibition will give the coaches an idea of what level of competition the team is ready for.
"Overall, I'm fairly pleased with where they're at," Stewart said, adding that the Bulldogs have a little work to do before they will be game-ready.
Just how much work remains to be seen. Perhaps Stewart will get his answer at the Fall Preview.