Eagles get sneak preview Friday at Hillcrest

Published 2:55 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2005

By By BRUCE HIXON-Sports Editor
Games do not start counting in the won/loss column until next week, but that does not mean W.S. Neal Blue Eagles football coach Blaine Hathcock does not want to win his team's 7 p.m. exhibition game at Hillcrest-Evergreen Friday any less.
Hathcock also knows he will keep things in perspective when it comes to Friday's outcome.
Exhibition games are something some programs shy away from. W.S. Neal has chosen to play an exhibition game in recent years against Andalusia. Preceding coach Shane Smothers picked up Hillcrest-Evergreen for this season when Andalusia opted to play a different opponent.
Exhibition games can also be scouting tools, both for a team and for its opponent. Eufaula hosts 6A power Central-Phenix City in an exhibition game Thursday. That contest will allow the Blue Eagles staff to scout next week's foe, but the Eufaula staff will be able to return the favor Friday when W.S. Neal plays Hillcrest.
Friday's contest marks the second time in three months the Blue Eagles and Jaguars have hooked up in exhibition status. W.S. Neal posted a 22-14 victory back in May to close out spring workouts.
Both W.S. Neal and Hillcrest-Evergreen posted identical 4-6 overall records and 3-4 marks in their respective regions a year ago.
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and we saw that in the spring. We also saw they had some talent in those younger classes," Hathcock said. "I'm not sure what kind of approach they will use against us. When we played them in the spring, they played very conservatively against us. They were content to keep the ball on the ground most of the game. They may open things up a little more Friday or they may not."
Hathcock's scheduled approach for Friday is to give his starting unit two quarters of work.
The Blue Eagles skipper said the first two plus weeks have pretty much determined next week's opening day lineup.

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