ELIZABETHTOWN — East Bladen’s varsity gridders are preparing for a big pre-season test when they compete in the third annual Battle of the Carolinas Football Jamboree, scheduled for Thursday at Alton G. Brooks Stadium.
“We hope to be invited back each and every year,” said Eagles coach Robby Priest. “It is unique and competitive and we look forward to the big stage atmosphere that it provides.”
East Bladen will see a familiar opponent when the Jamboree kicks off when it lines up against Latta, S.C., in the event’s first game of the evening at 5 p.m. The Eagles took on Latta in the Jamboree’s inaugural year and faced Scotland County last year.
“They are well coached and have great athletes, so we will have our work cut out for us,” Priest said of Latta.
The lineup for the 10-team Battle of the Carolinas Football Jamboree is as follows:
— East Bladen versus Latta, S.C., at 5 p.m.
— Lakeview, S.C., versus Fairmont at 6 p.m.
— West Brunswick versus Purnell Swett at 7 p.m.
— Dillon, S.C., versus Scotland County at 8 p.m.
— Marlboro, S.C., versus Lumberton at 9 p.m.
The rain date for the Jamboree is Friday, Aug. 11.
For East Bladen, Priest says he’s looking forward to another successful season with a solid group of athletes.
“We have a positive outlook for our upcoming season,” he said. “We return a lot of starters on both sides of the ball, (but) we have big shoes to fill with the loss of last year’s seniors.
“Replacing those seniors will be tough not only on the field but in the classroom and out in the community,” he added. “That group was a very mature group that took care of the small things that helped make our job as coaches easier.”
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.