Golden Tigers get set for jamboree to kick off season
By Brannon King for the FCT
The players and coaches are working on the game plan, the cheerleaders and band have put in hours of practice, and the time of year that many fans look forward to the most is here: it’s football game week for the Russellville Golden Tigers.
The 2017 season gets underway this Friday with a jamboree game at Athens against the 6A Golden Eagles. RHS players are looking forward to seeing some new faces of an opponent across the line of scrimmage rather than the usual grind of fall camp, where teams only get to put in work for the upcoming season against their own teammates on the practice field.
“We’re treating it like a game week,” head coach Mark Heaton said Monday after practice. “Everything that we do, from preparation on Sunday and throughout the week, game plan-wise and everything, will be geared like a regular game. Our kids are excited, and they’re ready to play somebody. I know our guys are ready to get out there and compete under the lights.”
The Golden Tigers will use the jamboree as a gauge of where they stand in preparation for the regular season opener at Deshler Sept. 1 in Tuscumbia. The first three games of the season, jamboree included, for RHS will be on the road. Fan support in the stands is always appreciated and can play a key role in the enthusiasm of the players during home games and away contests.
“We’ve got one of the best fan bases in the state of Alabama in 5A football,” Heaton said. “It’s been crucial for us the last three years, as I can speak for myself on that by having been here and having been through that.
“The kids know the support they have. The support of the community has been big, and it helps us especially on the road,” Heaton added. “It’s always encouraging to be able to look up there and see a big crowd and know that there are people that have your back and support you. The community is such a big part of our success here in all athletics and in football especially. We hope for a big crowd; we need all the help we can get, and we look forward to seeing our people.”
With the home opener scheduled for Sept. 15 against Class 5A Region 8 opponent Lawrence County, fans still have time to purchase reserved season tickets and reserved parking passes.
“Season tickets and parking passes are still available,” Heaton said. “The National Federation High School Network livestream cards are available at the front office also. So, if people can’t make it to away games, they can purchase one of those cards, and they can watch the game livestream whether we are at home or away, anywhere we go.”
The home slate of games for the Golden Tigers includes region clashes against Lawrence County, Brooks and Ardmore, which is also homecoming Oct. 27. Russellville closes out the regular season with a big home game against long-time rival Colbert County.