Gatewood’s football team will cross the lake for its final scrimmage of the summer.
The Gators won’t be facing rivals John Milledge Academy, however; that game won’t come until the season officially begins on Aug. 24 when the Trojans come visit the Swamp. Instead, the Gators will be wrapping up their summer practice schedule by visiting another Milledgeville team: Georgia Military College Prep.
After wrapping up their week-long camp of two-a-days, head coach Jeff Ratliff believes the team is beginning to come together.
“We had a good camp,” Ratliff said. “We were able to install our system and work on the fundamentals of the game over the past week. Without those fundamentals, it really doesn’t matter what system you run. It all comes down to blocking and tackling. I feel like we had a good week in those terms, but there is much work to be done.”
The scrimmage, which is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday, will be what Ratliff calls a “road trip run through,” which will essentially be a practice run for whenever the team has to go on the road.
Players will be expected to report to the school at 4 p.m. and the team will depart at 6 p.m. using its brand-new bus, giving the team a similar experience to how most of its roads games will be.
On Monday, Gatewood held its annual “night practice” where the Gators practiced after nightfall in order to get the team used to playing at night under the lights.
Gatewood also used this as an opportunity to test the equipment of the stadium and ensure that everything will be working properly when the time comes for Gatewood’s real meeting with a Milledgeville opponent.
While the Gators have been having a good offseason, they can’t stop working if they want to go to Macon this year.
“This week is so important,” Ratliff said. “We must build on the fundamentals established at camp, and we must begin to find the right combinations that will make us contenders. Our players must step up and begin to distinguish themselves. In short, this scrimmage will be another step toward Mercer.”
Gatewood recently had a work day in which many came to the school and assisted in various projects in order to keep the football facilities up to standards. They also helped work on other areas of the school. Ratliff expressed his gratitude to all who attended and assisted with the work day. The Gators will face the Bulldogs in Milledgeville at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. JMA will come to town for Gatewood’s first game of the season on Aug. 24.