NEWBERRY — The Mid-Carolina High School Rebels (0-1) play their first road game of the season at Saluda High School (1-0) Friday.
Louie Alexander, head coach for the Rebels, said his team is eager to play its second game.
“I think they’re looking forward to going out there again,” Alexander said. “We didn’t have a ton of preseason action, so they’re excited to making contact with someone other than their teammates.”
Alexander said the Rebels are eager to get their first win after last week’s difficult 22-6 loss to rival Chapin High School.
Last week, the Saluda Tigers rallied after a first quarter injury to their star running back, Malik Brooks, to defeat Ridge Spring-Monetta, 35-21.
Brooks left the game after he suffering an apparent compound fracture to his forearm, and he may not return for the rest of the season.
Stewart Young, head coach for Saluda High School, said Brooks broke both bones in his arm.
“He’s definitely not playing this week,” Young said. “He’s likely out for the rest of the season.”
Young called the injury tragic and complimented his team’s response to adversity.
“We scored twice pretty quickly after that, which is good to see,” Young said. “It could’ve sucked the air right out of the team.”
Alexander said Mid-Carolina will be prepared as if Brooks was available to play.
“We’re practicing like he’s going to play,” Alexander said.
Alexander said this week’s points of emphasis are offensive efficiency, eliminating mental mistakes and more of the same on defense.
“Defensively, we’d like to see the same intensity as last week,” Alexander said.
Young said the Tigers’ focus for the week is simple.
“We just try to get better every week,” Young said.
Traditionally, the Rebels have played the Tigers toward the end of the season, but Coach Alexander said the team is adjusting to and excited by the change.
Both coaches said the time of the year should do little to impact a longstanding and competitive rivalry.
“It’s a little bit different, but we don’t mind it,” Alexander said. “There’s some proximity there, there’s some energy to the match up.”