South Jones kicks off its 2019 season Friday night with a road game against the Sumrall Bobcats.
The contest features two football teams in similar situations, led by coaches who have known each other for a long time.
For Braves’ head coach Roger Satcher, the familiarity just makes him want the win on Friday night even more.
When Sumrall head coach Shannon White got his first head coaching job at West Lauderdale back in 1989, he hired Satcher as his one and only assistant. Ever since their time coaching together, Satcher says White has been a friend and a mentor to him. "He taught me a lot," said Satcher, "and I still use the things he taught me. But I want to beat Coach White pretty bad, not because I don't like him, but because I do. He was my mentor, and it's about time the student beats the master."
Last season, the Bobcats upended the Braves by four touchdowns in their regular-season opener, but this time around, the matchup has potential to be much different. Both teams are entering the season largely untested, with new players starting in several key positions.
Just as the Braves are without last year's leading playmaker, quarterback John Mitchell, the Bobcats are without their former do-it-all quarterback Dannis Jackson, who is now at Ole Miss. Both Satcher and White agree that they will not really know what their teams are capable of until they finally get a chance to see them in action on Friday night.
Though Satcher does not entirely know what to expect from the Bobcats' new players, he does anticipate them being well-coached and prepared by his friend.
The area in which Satcher believes his team may have an advantage is that of effort and intensity.
"Nobody gets after it like South Jones," he said. "You can ask (Todd) Breland, (Scott) Pierson or any of the other local coaches, and they'll tell you these guys give it their all between those lines. If we approach the game in that manner, stay disciplined and stay away from turning over the football, then there will be an opportunity to win."
The bout between the Braves and Bobcats will begin at 7 Friday night.