Clayton football squads to begin their seasons with local scrimmage games By Luke Strickland

JONESBORO — Over the next two weeks, Clayton County high school football programs will begin their seasons with scrimmage games. Below is a preview of those contests.

Aug. 4

Morrow at Therell, 6 p.m.

The Mustangs have been optimistic regarding the 2017 season, which begins with a scrimmage game against Therell on Aug. 4. Morrow finished the 2016 with a 1-9 record, but several key players are returning for head coach Jerome Weaks, including quarterback Kris Clark.

Jonesboro at Riverdale, 7:30 p.m. at Southern Crescent Stadium

The Cardinals and the Raiders will renew their rivalry in a preseason scrimmage Aug. 4. The two teams played each other in a scrimmage game last season but were previously region rivals before realignment two seasons ago. Riverdale will be replacing more than 20 seniors this season, while Jonesboro will be looking to find a permanent starter at quarterback.

Lovejoy at Woodland, 7:30 p.m.

The Wildcats will hit the field for the first time this season on Aug. 4 against Woodland. The matchup will be a tough test for Lovejoy, as Woodland reached the Class AAAAA Elite Eight last season. Lovejoy fans can catch a first glimpse at the three players fighting to take John Seter’s place at quarterback.

Aug. 11

Mount Zion at ELCA, 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs will face ELCA for the second straight season in the preseason, and for the second straight year, ELCA will be the defending Class A-Private champions. Mount Zion narrowly missed the postseason last year and returns the majority of that team in 2017.

Mundy’s Mill at North Clayton, 7:30 p.m. at Southern Crescent Stadium

Two county teams will face off in a preseason game on Aug. 11. North Clayton reached the Class AAAA state playoffs last season in Cap Burnett’s first season as head coach. Yet, the Eagles will need to replace 20-plus seniors this season. Mundy’s Mill will be looking to get off to a fast start this season after going 2-8 last year.

Drew at Hampton, 7:30 p.m.

The Titans will travel to play Hampton on Aug. 11 for their scrimmage game. The returns of Gary Tyner and C.J. Davenport should give Drew a formidable offense, while the defense will be led by Anthony Menchaca. Hampton finished the 2016 season with an overall record of 1-9.