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PREP FOOTBALL: Westlake-Creekside open season in rivalry mode, plus full slate of area games and cancelations

Friday night’s Westlake-Creekside game will likely be a battle of the trenches, as both teams feature sizable front lines on offense and defense. | PHOTO: Xavier Williams

ATLANTA, Ga. — Forget bulletin board material. When Friday night’s 7:30 p.m. kickoff between Westlake and Creekside happens, Westlake coach Bobby May and his Lions squad will have all the motivation they need just by being able to play the game. 

“I’ll be a little more relieved and excited once 7:30 comes and we kickoff,” May said. “But until then, we’re going to be remaining prayerful to actually kick off and have a game to play. We’re looking forward to seeing how things go (tonight).” 

Indeed, both Westlake and Creekside, along with all the other Fulton County schools in action tonight will be chomping at the bit to pop pads with someone other than their own teammates. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fulton County delayed its start to the season two weeks. And after spending the brunt of that time doing more conditioning work and creating contingency plans for potential coronavirus cancellations, May said he’s ready to finally get down to the more familiar work of simply coaching football. 

“I think we’re ready, but you never really know until we kick off,” May said. “We’ve gone through a lot with all of the Covid challenges, and it’s required a lot of patience from our kids and mental focus. But honestly, I think we’re ready, and all of this has actually made us more hungry.” 

As if there already wasn’t enough intrigue surrounding the simple act of playing a football game, the energy multiplies because it’s rival Creekside that’s showing up to Westlake’s football stadium tonight. 

It’s arguably the foremost rivalry game on either team’s schedule whenever they meet. The Seminoles hold the all-time series edge over Westlake with 11 wins to the Lions’ nine, and are no doubt still remembering the 23-22 loss to Westlake last year. But as is the case with rivalry games, other things beyond records and traditional matchup measurables often weigh heavy. 

And for the second straight year, the game is the first one on each team’s schedules. Although for Westlake it wasn’t supposed to be that way. The Lions originally had North Cobb and Colquitt County on their schedule, but after losing those games, May was able to add John’s Creek, which, in turn, shifted Creekside to Game 1 in what is currently a 9-game schedule. 

Such is the life of a high school football coach coaching during a pandemic. But if the two teams make it to the field Friday night, things will start feeling familiar again.

“Creekside is always physical,” May said. “They’re always gonna be really good up front, particularly on the offensive line. And it’s a rivalry game, so you never know what you’ll get or which way things go. It’s one of those games where you throw the records out.” 

Covid Cancellations 

Several games in the area that were supposed to take place, won’t, thanks to a combination of weather concerns and coronavirus precautions. 

The Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy Chargers had a 7:30 p.m. contest slated with Pace Academy Thursday, but it was canceled by Pace due to concerns of a wet playing surface. ELCA was able to push Blessed Trinity up a couple of weeks on its schedule to Saturday at 1 p.m. at Blessed Trinity. 

Jonesboro found out its game scheduled this week at Carrollton was likely going to be canceled last week when Carrollton had to nix its Newnan game due to coronavirus precautions. Jonesboro coach Tim Floyd had already decided that he wouldn’t seek a replacement game for the loss of the Trojans from his schedule. Instead, the cancelation gives the Cardinals two off weeks in a row before traveling to Banneker on Friday October 2.

Finally, tonight’s Morrow-Mount Zion game scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Tara Stadium in Jonesboro has been postponed. 

Here is the slate of games for the week for Clayton, Henry and South Fulton counties. 

Clayton County Games 

Drew (0-2) at Riverdale (1-1), 7:30 p.m. @ Southern Crescent Stadium

Forest Park (0-2) at Osborne (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

Eagle’s Landing (0-2) at Lovejoy (2-0), 7:30 p.m. @ Twelve Oaks Stadium 

Morrow vs. Mount Zion CANCELED 

Mundy’s Mill (0-2) at Pebblebrook (1-1), 7 p.m. 

North Clayton (0-2) at Tri-Cities (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Jonesboro at Carrollton CANCELED 

Henry County Games 

Dutchtown (1-1) vs. Douglas County (2-0), 7:30 p.m. @ New Manchester High School 

Eagle’s Landing (0-2) at Lovejoy (2-0), 7:30 p.m. @ Twelve Oaks Stadium 

ELCA (2-0) at Blessed Trinity (0-0), Saturday 1 p.m. 

Whitewater (1-1) at Locust Grove (1-1), 7:30 p.m. 

Rutland (0-0) at Luella (1-1) 

Woodland (2-0) at McDonough (0-2) 

Ola (2-0) at Spalding (0-2) 

Loganville Christian (1-0) at Strong Rock (2-0) 

Starr’s Mill (1-1) at Union Grove (2-0) 

Creekside Christian (2-0) at North Georgia (0-0) 

South Fulton Games 

Banneker (0-0) at Colquitt County (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Creekside (0-0) at Westlake (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Langston Hughes (0-0) at Harrison (0-2), 7:30 p.m. @ Cobleigh Stadium 

North Clayton (0-2) at Tri-Cities (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

South Atlanta (0-1) at Bleckley County (1-1) 

Hapeville Charter (0-0) at North Forsyth (2-0) 

Marist (1-0) at Woodward Academy (0-1) 

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Gabriel Stovall

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