A rainbow arched past Panther Stadium last week, but the Lakeside High School football team wasn't searching for a pot of gold.
The Panthers just wanted to see if practice makes perfect during their scrimmage with the Laney High School Wildcats.
The Friday matchup featured teams at opposite ends of the spectrum - Lakeside was winless last season, while Laney advanced to the Class AAA state semifinals.
The scrimmage was a new start for both squads, but fittingly, the theme to Rocky cued up just before kickoff - and the tune fit the underdog Lakeside squad to a T.
On the first play of the scrimmage, Laney broke off a 70-yard touchdown run.
The 36-minute format allowed each team's offense a full nine-minute quarter on the field. When it was Lakeside's turn to try out its new triple-option offense, Fred Goolsby raced for a long run inside the Laney 5-yard line, and Tosin Fawibe followed with a short scoring dive.
Lakeside's first dress rehearsal for the upcoming season was hampered by a thunderstorm. The Panthers were on offense in the fourth quarter when rains hit and forced the fans to scramble for cover.
The Panthers will have another scrimmage Aug. 22 at Richmond Academy. Action begins at 7:30 p.m.
"Scrimmages are a good benchmark to see where we are as a team, and to see what we need to do to improve," Lakeside coach Randy Hill said. "It's good because some people are players Monday through Thursday (at practice) but they don't shine on Friday nights. Some are gamers, and that's what a coach is trying to find."
The Greenbrier High School squad scrimmaged last week at Lincoln County High School. Wolfpack coach Mickey Derrick was disappointed that his team's attempt to knock off the Class A power was cut short when lightning halted play with under four minutes remaining.
Lakeside's Tosin Fawibe dives over the goal line for a touchdown in the second quarter
of their scrimmage against Laney.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Still, the 16-15 final score wasn't really a loss for the Pack - the scrimmage merely was a tuneup for the games that count.
"I saw some good things, and I saw some bad things. That's the good thing about scrimmages - we can work out some of the kinks," Derrick said. "We moved the ball fairly well, and our pass defense wasn't bad at all. That was one of our top spots. But we could't stop Lincoln County's running game."
Conversely, Derrick was pleased with the passing of quarterback Brooks Robinson, who completed throws to Steve Young, Tyler Dent and Eugene Rogers.
Greenbrier will play its second pre-season scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Richmond Academy.
The Evans High School Knights, meanwhile, are set to begin testing under new head coach Marty Jackson. Evans scrimmages with Westside High School at 7:30 Friday at Blanchard Stadium. Next week the Knights travel to Lincoln County on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. scrimmage.
"We'll get to see what's looking good and what's not. In the scrimmages we want to see execution and how we handle adversity," Jackson said. "We've been hitting on each other for three weeks, so we're ready to scrimmage someone else."
Harlem High School also will warm up for the 2003 campaign with a pair of scrimmage games. The Bulldogs are at Washington-Wilkes High School on Friday and will play host to Glenn Hills High School on Aug. 22. Both scrimmages start at 7:30 p.m.
"I'm anxious about the scrimmage at Washington-Wilkes," Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said. "I've never been there with a chance to win, and I think it's important that we go there to win. There's no medicine like winning."
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