The Harmony Grove Cardinals, along with every other team in the county, are set to kick off their season this week. There is only one problem, the Cardinals will not being playing on Friday night.
While Hurricane Isaac pounds southern Louisiana, he is also expected to effect Arkansas in a big way. The Cardinals have been forced to move their game to today, rather than Friday when they play host to the Poyen Indians.
"I would say this is just a typical opening game," head coach Red Parker said. "You never know what is going to happen and you don't know how we will react or how they will react. You don't know what surprises are in store. First games are always precarious and I don't think this one is any different," Parker added.
The Cardinals have had a little over a week to prepare for this game since beating Woodlawn in a scrimmage last week. Parker said that his team had a great practice Monday. Tuesday? Not so much.
"Practice has been so-so," Parker said. "Tuesday, was not a typical practice before a game so I was a little bit disappointed. We were not as sharp as I would have liked to be."
One thing that Parker has nailed down, for now, is the starting quarterback job.
Parker said that sophomore quarterback Tyler Hamilton will start the game for the Cardinals and that Zane Anderson, another quarterback, will also be in the game.
"Tyler will start and Zane will play," Parker said. "Both of them practiced much better this week than in the past."
As for having to move the game up two days, Parker did not think there would be much of a problem.
"We pretty much knew what we were going to do," Parker said. "That has not changed. I don't think the two-day loss will be as big of an impact as it would later in the year. We have preseason so I don't see it being as big of an impact as it could be."
As for the Poyen Indians, they will be looking for their first win against Harmony Grove since getting a football program in 2010. Since then, the Cardinals have beat the Indians by a wide margin every year including a 33-22 win last season.
But, much like the Cardinals, the Indians are still young and have nothing to lose. The Cardinals are more skilled in key positions on the field.
The Indians did make the playoffs last season despite only winning three games, but lost to Mineral Springs 62-0 in Round 1.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium in Haskell today.