|High school football in Missouri starts unofficially this Friday night with the annual football jamborees.|
What in reality is nothing more than a glorified practice, the jamboree gives coaches a chance to evaluate their respective teams.
Monett and Pierce City hit the road for their jamborees.
|"We're just ready to line up and hit a different color jersey," Monett Head Coach Chad Depée said. "We have some unsettled positions we will be keeping an eye on.||"We want to see who will step up and earn a starting job," Depée added.|
The Monett Cubs travel to Carl Junction to compete in this year's event.
"I think we are a little more prepared this year than we were this time last season," said Depeé. "Our kids have a better understanding of our scheme and terminology. We are going to be very vanilla in our defense. We want to see how they respond to different looks."
Other teams in the jamboree are Carl Junction, Carthage and Nevada.
Each team will play in a round robin format, running 12 offensive and 12 defensive plays.
Monett entertains Carl Junction first, then Carthage and wraps up the night against Nevada. Jamboree action starts at 7 p.m.
"Friday night we get to see how our boys respond to three different styles of football," said Depeé. "On the offensive side of the ball, we will be paying close attention to the O-line. We know that mistakes will happen, and we want to see how we respond to those situations. Defensively, we want to see our kids fly to the ball."
Even though this is still considered a practice, Monett will be playing the underdog role.
"We will be the smallest school at the jamboree," said Depée. "We will be playing up (larger schools) in every match, but we will have our boys ready."
The Cubs would like to invite their loyal fans to attend the jamboree and help cheer them on.
"We love our fans," Depée said.
The Cubs open the regular season next Friday at home against the Mustangs of McDonald County.
The Pierce City Eagles travel to Joplin and play at Fred G. Hughes Stadium on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.
The Eagles square off against McAuley, Stockton and Lamar in this year's event which begins at 7 p.m.
"We are ready to go," second-year Head Coach Mac Whitehead said. "The jamboree is a great tool when it comes to evaluating talent."
The Eagles, like the Cubs, are anxious to see a color other than green in front of them.
"We are ready to face someone in a different color jersey," Whitehead said. "The boys get tired of hitting each other, and they want to see how they stack up against bigger competition."
The team will get its wish Friday night.
Pierce City will be the numerically smallest school competing with only 34 varsity players.
The Eagles have some questions that they hope to get answered during the jamboree.
"We will be keeping a close eye on our offensive line and wide receivers. We are still looking for kids to step up and fill those roles," Whitehead said. "Primarily on the offensive side of the ball, we want to keep it simple, running downhill at the defense and imposing our will.
"Defensively, we want to see the line get off their blocks and see everyone fly to the ball," Whitehead said.
The Eagles host Sarcoxie on Aug. 26 for their season opener.