Football fans continued their countdown to the beginning of the season last week. Augusta Christian fans got an early preview of their team.
The Lions held the annual Border Bash at Pride Valley. Five teams made the trip to Augusta Christian for a night of football scrimmages and fundraising.
"It's great because it's the first time we get to hit someone besides our own teammates," Augusta Christian senior Zach Cooper said. "We see some better competition, too."
Private schools from Georgia and South Carolina participated in the event, which raised money for the American Cancer Society. A 12-minute running clock gave both teams a chance to run full-contact plays for scrimmage, and gave South Carolina and Georgia independent schools association fans the opportunity to scope out their favorite teams.
The coaches spent most of their time evaluating their own talent. In a scrimmage against John Milledge Academy, Augusta Christian football head coach Bruce Lane was able to give his junior varsity squad a taste of the action on the field.
"I wasn't expecting to get that work for the younger kids, but I'm glad we're doing it," he said. "Right now we're just experimenting with some stuff."
The scrimmages also gave returning Lions a chance to shake off the rust. Augusta Christian returns eight starters on offense and four on defense this year.
"We're just trying to get better," senior Daniel Hobbs said. "We've got some good guys coming back, and we're finding younger guys who are going to step up for us."
Augusta Christian's season will begin on the road this year with a trip to Orangeburg Prep at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24.
Augusta Christian isn't the only local football team jumping in on preseason action. The next football scrimmage will take place at Greenbrier High School when Cross Creek comes to town on Friday at 8 p.m.
Evans High School will follow with a home scrimmage against Westside on Aug. 23.
Lakeside and Harlem both scheduled scrimmages at home on Aug. 24. The Bulldogs will start at 7 p.m., and the Panthers kick off at 7:30 p.m.
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