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Posted: Friday, August 15th 2014 at 3:08pm

Almost live: Scrimmage games give flavor of Friday nights to come

By Morgan Lee Editor
click to enlarge
East Hall will take on Chestatee in a scrimmage on Thursday.
Jefferson and West Hall tangled in a preseason scrimmage on Thursday night in Oakwood -- and it didn’t mean a thing as far as standings or playoff races go.

But don’t tell the players and coaches involved that the contest was meaningless.

The scrimmage will give both sets of coaches plenty to show their teams -- both good and bad -- and help them on their way through the 2014 season.

Of course is as important as the scrimmages are for area teams to get their legs underneath them, it is just as important that teams stay healthy as they prep for the season -- which kicks off for some teams on Aug. 22, with most area programs getting going on Aug. 29.

(With that in mind, look for the re-launch of Access North Georgia’s “Friday Game Night” page next week, complete with season previews of 30 northeast Georgia programs.)

Here’s a few storylines and points of interest to keep in mind if you’re heading out to take in a scrimmage game this weekend or next (look below for a complete list of area scrimmages).

-- How will Lakeview and Banks County look on the verge of two important seasons? The Lions are getting ready for their first region season since 2009 and the Leopards are trying to bounce back from an 0-10 2013.

-- How will the quarterback race develop at Buford? Luke Humphrey or Mic Roof are the two looking to notch playing time. The Wolves are coming off a two-man rotation that helped Buford to two more state titles. Are they set for another duo, or will one take the lead?

-- Who will carry the load at running back for Johnson? The Knights have several capable backs; will one take the lead, or will they rotate evenly?

-- How will Mikey Gonzalez react to his first start for Gainesville, as the senior quarterback faces a strong White County?

-- On the flip side, will the Warriors show enough athleticism to keep up with Gainesville’s speed on the perimeter?

-- How will North Hall look overall? The Trojans return just one starter and have a new head coach and defensive coordinator.

-- Will Jackson County’s young linebackers be ready for the challenge of stopping the run (a point of emphasis this season)?

-- How will Lumpkin County handle their new split-back veer offense?

-- How will Jasen Johnson perform for Flowery Branch, as the sophomore takes over at quarterback?

-- Rabun County will also be breaking in a new starting quarterback in Collin Grant. How will the senior respond?

-- Riverside Military spent the summer meeting and practicing like most other programs -- rather than a military boarding school -- how will that pay off?

-- How will Jim Pavao’s aggressive defense take hold at Fannin County?

-- Old arch-rivals Stephens County and Habersham Central will face off -- the Indians under a new coach and the Raiders looking to bounce back from a winless 2013.

-- Will Union County’s experience and depth be ready to go from the start?

-- How will Dawson County’s junior running back duo of Andrew Goley and Hunter Mitchell perform?

-- Is East Hall's offense ready to take another step forward under quarterback Devin Watson and a bigger offensive line?

-- How will Chestatee look under new head coach Bill Forman and several new faces on offense and defense?

Of course these are questions that will only start to be answered during the scrimmages, but those contests will start to give us an insight to the answers -- and perhaps the season ahead.

All start times 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted

Banks County at Lakeview Academy
Buford at South Gwinnett
Commerce at Franklin County
East Jackson at Johnson
Forsyth Central at North Forsyth
Gainesville at White County
Gilmer at North Hall
Jackson County at Athens Academy
Lumpkin County at Cambridge
Mill Creek at Archer
Monroe Area at Apalachee
Mountain View at Flowery Branch
North Gwinnett at Hughes
Rabun-Gap at Towns County
Rabun County at Franklin, N.C.
Riverside Military at Armuchee
South Atlanta at Fannin County
Stephens County at Habersham Central
Union County at Sonoraville, 7 p.m.
Westminster at Dawson County

Thursday, Aug. 21
East Hall at Chestatee, 7 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 22
North Forsyth at Hart County
North Hall at Dawson County
Towns County at Hayesville, N.C.
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