The Friday Night Lights will turn on for the White County Warriors in just over a week when Lumpkin County comes to Cleveland for the 2019 football season opener on Aug. 30.
The Warriors' tilt with the Indians starts off a string of four consecutive non-region games, including a pair against longtime rivals.
After opening the season with Lumpkin, the Warriors head to Habersham Central for another battle of next-door neighbors on Sept. 6, and then play at North Hall on Sept. 20. Sandwiched in between Habersham and North Hall is a Sept. 13 home matchup with Pickens County. The region schedule kicks off Sept. 27 with a road trip to Atlanta to take on Marist.
WCHS head coach Tim Cokely is entering his third season in charge of the Warriors' program. He has led the squad to the state playoffs the past two years and he's excited about the 2019 season.
“Lumpkin has a new coach and I think they are much improved,” Cokely said. “I think they are a good football team and they have been our rival for a long time. I'm sure there will be a huge crowd in the stadium and our guys will be ready to play. Then we get into the Habersham, Pickens and North Hall run, and that's going a whole lot of fun. We're excited about getting the season started.”
The Warriors made the playoffs during Cokely's first two seasons, but have to replace a large group of players on both sides of the ball. The Warriors had a tough go at it during a preseason scrimmage last week at Stephens County, but Cokely and the staff believe the Warriors have enough experience and skill to do some good things this fall.
“We played a lot of guys (in the scrimmage), and that's what we wanted to do,” Cokely said. “We have two ways to evaluate players – we see them in practice and then we get to see them in games. So this gave us a chance to evaluate the players in a game-type situation. We've been able to come back this week and work on a lot of things we saw in the scrimmage.”