Aug. 17—The Scots have put in work during the offseason. Long practices, challenging scrimmages, and the heat of the summer sun don't make it easy. But, after nine months, week one of the 2022-23 high school football season is here.
Thursday night, Scotland will face the Northern Durham Knights for the second consecutive season. The Scots hold a 46-9 all-time record in season openers, and head coach, Richard Bailey, believes after facing this team in last season's opener, they can add win number 47 to that record.
"They did have a coaching change. The defensive coordinator has been made the head coach, and so they haven't changed a whole lot defensively. Offensively, they look a little different. But, as far as our preparation, we'll probably go with a lot of the same gameplan we had last year. Northern Durham did throw us a few wrinkles that we didn't expect last year, so we'll be a little more prepared this year," Bailey said.
One difference in the game plan this year will be quarterbacks Carter Revelle and Ji'San McPhatter both seeing the field.
"I would insist both of them play some," Bailey said.
Revelle is the starter for now, though, according to Bailey, as he believes McPhatter will have to beat out Revelle to earn the starting gig.
"Ji'San's going to have to outright win the job before I replace a guy that started last year. And, he's done some good things. Both of them are very capable. He's definitely made it a lot harder on me to make that decision, which is a good thing," Bailey said.
For Northern Durham, they'll come into the new season with a new quarterback after last year's starter, Chris Kujawa, graduated. But, they do return two-time All-Conference running back, Justice Fisher, who ran for over 900 yards in eight games last season, according to MaxPreps.
Regardless of who takes the field for the Knights, the Scots are just looking forward to the season starting.
"They're always excited for that first game. They're tired of practicing against each other. It was good to get some scrimmage games and get to play against some other people, but they're ready to actually have another opponent where the score matters. And as a coaching staff, we're ready because I'm tired of just planning 'in air,' now you get to plan for a specific opponent and that makes it a lot more enjoyable," Bailey said.
Thursday's game between Scotland and Northern Durham will kick off at 7:30 p.m. from Pate Stadium.
Additional reporting from Deon Cranford.