Dawgs prep for football season to “red out” home opener


By D. Mark Mitchell

sports columnist

The 2015 Opelika High Bulldogs football team continues to prepare for the season. The Dawgs complete week two of the preseason today with a 4:30 scrimmage at Bulldog Stadium.
Coach Blackmon and staff will move to preparation mode next week. OHS travels to Tuscaloosa to play Hillcrest on Friday night, August 21.
The Opelika starting lineups were released this week by Coach Blackmon:
Ends – Zoe Bridges and Courtney Allen
D-Line – Jaicourious Johnson, Desmond Allen and Demonte Martin (these  three will rotate).
Linebackers – Zach Yancey and Johnston Jordan
Safeties –  Trey Ezzell, Charlie Benton and Terrance Banks
Corner backs – Devin Guice and Chris Manley
Defensive Coordinator Erik Speakman will put a veteran group on the field with two juniors and nine seniors.
Center – Ryan Carlisle
Left Guard – Franklin Vickerstaff
Right Guard – Deondre Butler
Left Tackle – Rakavious Chambers
Right Tackle – Bryant Norrell and Paul Money
Full Back – Caleb Florence
Receivers – Kyle Fourtanbary, James Moss and Jaleel Heard
Quarterback – Jake Bentley
Running Backs – Josh Johnson and Tanner Blatt.
Special Teams
Punter – Jake Bentley
Kicker – Jack Slay
Deep Snapper – Austin Morgan
Holder – Carter Milner
Returners – Tanner Blatt and Chris Manley
The Bulldogs will open their ten game schedule in Tuscaloosa against Hillcrest High School next Friday night at 7p.m.
The Opelika All-Sports Booster Club has chartered a bus for fans who want to attend the game without the hassle of driving. Seats on the bus are $35 per person (cash only), round-trip, and does not include the ticket to the game. If you are interested in purchasing a seat, call Mrs. Senn at OHS, 334-745-9715. The seats are on a first-come first-served basis.
The Hillcrest Patriots finished 9-4 last season while advancing to the third round of the play-offs. The Bulldogs added Hillcrest to the 2015 schedule to balance the schedule at five home and five road games.
Last season OHS played Carver in the annual Champions Challenge in Montgomery for the tenth game.
I will include the Opelika vs. Hillcrest pregame review in next Friday’s column.
The Opelika Athletic Department has a new web page to replace thedawgnetwork. The new site is found at www.opelikaathletics.com. It is much more comprehensive and advanced than the old one, which is better for Opelika fans. You will find every sports schedule, results and directions to the opposing team’s venue for “away” games. You can also sign up for text and email updates from Opelika Athletics. The site is free.
Opelika football games will be broadcasted on WKKR 97.7 Kicker-FM. This will be the 32nd season Opelika Athletics has teamed up with WKKR, a part of i-Heart Radio Network.
The broadcast team will consist of D.Mark Mitchell (play-by-play), Jeff Sasser and former Opelika head coach Larry Gore (game analysts) and  Wade Meadows (Opelika sideline reporter). The broadcast begins each Friday at 6:30 p.m. with the Coach Brian Blackmon Pre-game Show; at 6:45 we will start the usual pregame show from the stadium. You will hear from Coach Blackmon at halftime and after the game on the post-game show.
If you have a Smart phone, you can download the i-Heart Radio App free. Search for WKKR and listen live on the phone. You can go online to i-Heart Radio/search WKKR or go to kickerfm.com.
Current season tickets can be purchased today from 3:45-6 p.m. in the lobby of the OPAC. Season ticket holders can swap seats Monday, August 17, from 3:45-5:30 p.m.. New season tickets go on sale Tuesday from 3:45-5:30 p.m. in the OPAC.
Cost is $35 per book and student season tickets are $30.
Opelika All-Sports Booster Club, Opelika Athletics and cheerleaders have announced the Opelika vs Auburn game is “RED OUT”. Opelika fans are asked to wear something RED to the OHS vs AHS home opener August 28.
The All-Sports Booster Club will hand out 500 red T-Shirts to students who arrive between 5:30-6 p.m.
D.Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State director and vice president of the  A-O Sports Council.


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