Fresh off a win in the Kickoff Classic at Frostproof, the Bartow High School Yellow Jacket football squad opens the regular season on the road Friday night, heading to Auburndale to meet the Bloodhounds.
The season opener will pit Bartow against a familiar foe, which has appeared on the schedule for several consecutive years. Bartow has won three of the last four meetings, leading in the fourth (2010) when it was called due to lightning. Two of the games were pre-season affairs, but the last two have been on the record as Bartow regular season wins.
Bartow coach Jason Butler assessed the Jackets’ next opponent during the weekly Monday public meeting at Beef O’Brady’s.
“We will be playing against a very good football team,” said Butler. “Their defense is going to be a lot like Frostproof’s. I told the players today that we are going to be in a feast or famine situation. They could have three down lineman and end up blitzing seven or eight. They might hit us, but they could guess wrong and give us the opportunity to come up big.”
Bartow has the advantage of having one fall game under its belt since Auburndale’s kickoff classic contest at Hardee was cancelled due to weather conditions. The assessment of the Bartow effort last Friday night contained plenty of positives that will give Auburndale plenty of concerns. The Hounds lost all of their lineman on one side of the ball and 60 percent of the other side due to graduation. There are only a half dozen seniors on the squad and a lot of uncertainty on their part.
Butler had high marks for the fans who made the trip to Frostproof to support the winning effort and expressed hope that the support will continue for the Auburndale contest.
“You saw that they were doing the right thing,” he said of last Friday’s effort. “We need to start tackling better, but their effort was second to none.”
The season opener begins at 7 p.m.