Inaugural East Jackson, Commerce game set for Sept. 7 at Eagle Stadium
EXIT one rival, enter another.
Jefferson dropped off East Jackson’s 2012 football schedule, but the Eagles were able to add their closest geographic foe — Commerce.
East Jackson and Commerce (which plays in Region 8-A) will clash Sept. 7 in the Eagles’ home opener in the first match up ever of these schools separated by 4.4 miles.
“I think it’s a great thing for both schools,” East Jackson coach Brian Smith said. “I’m excited that we could work it out … You’ve got a chance to start a healthy rivalry between the both of us.”
Smith said the game fell into place with both programs having similar scheduling needs.
“We just kind of fell into the same opportunities with each other,” Smith said.
If there is a mantra to East Jackson’s 2012 schedule it’s this: Play local.
In addition to the Commerce game, East Jackson will travel to nearby Banks County (Aug. 31), as well as East Hall — located just one county over — (Sept. 14) for its other non-region games.
In region play, the Eagles, now members of 8-AAA, will play Elbert County (Sept. 28, away), Hart County (Oct. 5, home), Jackson County (Oct. 12, away), Morgan County (Oct. 19, home), North Oconee (Oct. 26, home), Franklin County (Nov. 2, away) and Oconee County (Nov. 9, home).
East Jackson’s furthest trip this year is to Elbert County.
“We kind of lucked out with that,” Smith said. “We even got the scrimmage (Aug. 16 vs. Monticello) at home.”
East Jackson wanted to cut down on mileage when going about the 2012 scheduling process. In fact, Smith noted that a team