Holtville's Jarmal Kendrick sheds the tackle of a Marbury defender en route to a first-down run.
Holtville's Jarmal Kendrick sheds the tackle of a Marbury defender en route to a first-down run.

Rival Bulldogs bring battle to Slapout’s Boykin Field

Published 12:30pm Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday’s jamboree in Slapout is more about pride than anything else.
Traditionally, Holtville and Marbury – separated by 11 miles (as the crow flies) – meet the first week of the season. And they have continued that rivalry even through realignment and scheduling issues.
The two teams met last year in Marbury to a packed house. Thursday’s showdown in Slapout should be no different.
“It’s a strong rivalry,” said Hunter Adams, coach of the Holtville Bulldogs. “You’ve got neighboring communities. The kids know each other and it’s fun to be a part of. I’ve been lucky to be a part of a lot of games like this as a coach: Benjamin Russell / Opelika, Eclectic / Tallassee, Stanhope Elmore / Prattville …”
Thursday night’s game, kicking off at 7 at Boykin Field, will be a showdown between newish quarterback.
Zach Davis, who handled a multitude of snaps for Holtville last season, makes his debut as the squad’s Alpha dog.
Blake Davies, who handled a handful of snaps last season for Marbury, will be his counterpart in the blue and white uniform.
“I’m sure the kids are excited about this game,” said Marbury coach James Strickland. “I’m sure they’re thinking about the rivalry.”
For Strickland, Thursday’s game is going to be a chance to see if the sweat equity his blue-clad Bulldogs have built over the summer leads to a foundation of wins.
“I think this team has a lot of chemistry, and they are coachable,” said Strickland. “You have a real good idea of where a team is, but what I want to see is if they can put it together. I’m curious to see how they handle any adversity that might come their way.”
For Adams, his Bulldogs have shown they are moving in the right direction.
“We’ve had good focus in terms of execution,” said Adams. “I don’t think I’ve seen a pass dropped or a ball fumbled. Defensively, the kids are starting to lock in and understand the system and what we are trying to do. I just hope to see it translate into something positive Thursday night.”
Holtville will open their season officially next Friday against W.S. Neal at home. Marbury will play the night before against Stanhope Elmore in Millbrook.

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