Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rocky Bayou ready for inaugural kickoff

September 5, 2008 - 12:42AM

NICEVILLE - Tonight will mark a historic moment in the Rocky Bayou Christian athletic program as the newly formed football team will play its inaugural game.

And it's a moment the Knights have been chomping at the bit to finally take in.

"They've been ready since Monday," Rocky Bayou coach John Reaves said. "We had the best week of practice that we've had so far. From Monday, it stepped up a notch on Tuesday and another notch yesterday. Today, we were spot-on. Their heads are in the game right now."

Indeed, the Knights say their intense preparation leading into the 6:30 kickoff tonight against Munroe Day at Destin Middle School has given them confidence.

"We've put in a lot hours," senior tailback/linebacker Noah Mosley said. "We've been practicing hard, a lot harder than a lot of other teams, I believe. We've got people coming over from other teams saying we do. We've been putting in the effort, and I think we're going to come out ready."

The Knights aren't denying that they'll have butterflies.

"I'm a little nervous, and I think everybody else is nervous, too, (but) I think we're ready," junior tailback/defensive back Justyn Lewis said.

The trick will be to temper those nerves. Reaves doesn't think his squad will be overwhelmed with what will be the first-ever football game of many of their lives.

"Deer in headlights? No," Reaves said. "I think after that first contact, it's just football."

Reaves has gathered some information on Munroe Day. He knows the team has switched to the spread offense from the Wing T, and the Knights will have to contend with their inferior size.

"I know we have good team speed, so hopefully speed can match up against size because we're not as big as them by a stretch," Reaves said. "They've got a 290-pound lineman. And if I put two of mine together, they'd almost be as big as him."

But Reaves and the Knights aren't as concerned about matchups as they are about seeing how the very first Rocky Bayou football team responds to its very first football game under the lights in front of a crowd.

"We're just ready to see what we have," Lewis said. "Some of us have never played football, so we're going to see what happens tomorrow."

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