Long County will usher in the Eric McNair era when the Blue Tide step out on the field Friday to scrimmage the Claxton Tigers in Claxton.
McNair, a former assistant coach, took over the top spot after Ronald Flott announced he was stepping away for personal reasons.
Last year, the Blue Tide and Tigers duked it out, with the Tide taking a 19-14 lead at the half. The Tigers came out strong in the second half, however, to win 33-20.
The Blue Tide had standout player Brendon Scott running the offense last season. Scott, who graduated, led the team in rushing with 1,447 yards and 15 touchdowns on 196 carries and also completed 22 of 43 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns.
Friday’s scrimmage will give McNair a chance to see just how prepared incoming junior quarterback Brett Blake will be for the season. Blake played in seven games last year, passing 8 for 18 for 62 yards. Expect McNair to toss junior Tripp Stapleton in the game to get a few reps.
Incoming senior Jaquarius Harrison, who was second on the team last year in rushing with 552 yards and eight touchdowns on 87 carries also is expected to display his readiness.
The Blue Tide are expected to field nine seniors, 11 juniors and seven underclassmen for the varsity squad this season. Long County went 3-7 overall last year and 1-6 in Region 2-AA, which includes powerhouse programs like Bacon County, Vidalia and last year’s Class AA state champions, Benedictine.
Friday’s kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.