PREVIEW: Winder-Barrow at Jackson Co.

Winder-Barrow's Al Schotter

Winder-Barrow's Al Schotter

Winder-Barrow Bulldoggs (8-AAAAA)

-- Coach: David Wagner

-- 2011 Record: 0-10


Jackson County Panthers (8-AAA)

-- Coach: Benji Harrison

-- 2011 Record: 3-7

Every season opener brings a fresh new sense of optimism, and the such is the case for the Bulldoggs' opener Friday for more than just the fact they will have chance to break their current long losing streak. The quirks of playing a full region schedule in Region 8-AAAA the past four years have kept them from continuing a rivalry with neighboring Jackson County, which had been established back in 2000, something that will infuse a little something extra into Friday's opener.

"The players are excited about that," Winder-Barrow coach David Wagner said. "The students are excited about that. The community is excited about that."

What would create more excitement is a win, something the Bulldoggs haven't been able to come up with in their last 24 games dating back to October of 2009.

However, Wagner says that could change Friday if they can execute the game plan, especially establishing a steady offense, led by junior quarterback Christian Hodge, that can hang onto the football more the chains.

"We've got to control the clock," Wagner said. "If we can get first downs and keep our defense off the field, we can keep our defense fresh."

The defense had some solid outings last season, and Wagner is hoping that unit, keyed by senior linebacker Al Schotter, will turn things up a notch further beginning Friday.

-- Last meeting: Winder-Barrow won 10-7 in 2007

-- Directions to Jackson Co. High School: Highway 316 East to Highway 81, go towards Winder. Go through Winder and take Highway 11 into Jackson County. School is on left. (Stadium info)