The lights at Donell Woods Stadium will be turned on tonight for the start of the football season as Liberty County High School hosts Glynn Academy in a preseason scrimmage.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Panthers will have a chance to evaluate a defense that lost several starters and is under the direction of new defensive coordinator Derek Sills.
Panther head coach Kirk Warner and offensive coordinator Ryan Glazer will analyze the quarterbacks to finalize the rotation.
The coaches said JJ Grant is the likely starter this season, but an injury he sustained late last year forced him to miss some spring and summer workouts.
Glazer said Grant has been rehabbing the injury and seems to be doing well. Meanwhile, Jordan Waters is a potential backup.
One thing the coaches would like to see is who can step up at running back now that Shadrach Thornton is gone. Thornton posted an unprecedented 4,345 rushing yards in his four years at LCHS. Warner said former linebacker Trentice Williams was moved to the offense and will run the ball. Glazer said Williams looks impressive.
The Panthers have many returning players on offense, and offensive line coach Darryl McCulley said they will field a strong front line this season.
The defensive has several players returning and the rest either played in spots last year or are
moving up from the junior varsity squad.
The games between Glynn and Liberty have been evenly matched and close. Those were the reasons the coaching staff picked the Red Terrors to scrimmage against.
“I think they are a perfect opponent for a scrimmage game, because they are going to test us right off the bat,” Glazer said. “They are a team we are familiar with, because we’ve battled them the past 4-6 years and we’ve had close games. We’ll try and get in there and try out all of our stuff and just play some different people and see what they can do. We’ll run our spread and hope to be able to pass a little bit more this year.”
Warner said the Red Terrors lost top runner James Dean, but added that the Panthers still need to maintain their focus.
“I know they have some athletes and they are a good team which is one of the reason we scheduled them early so we could get a feel for our team,” Warner said. “They are fundamentally sound, hardnosed defense and they are going to take their shots on offense when the opportunity arises.”