When Pisgah head coach Luke Pruitt looks at his football team’s schedule, he sees a schedule of experienced opponents.
“Most of the schedule (those teams) have a lot coming back,” Pruitt said. “We’ve got some really tough opponents. All those games are going to be fight.”
Pisgah is coming off of a 4-7 season in Pruitt’s first season as head coach. The Eagles finished third in Class 3A Region 7 play and qualified for the state playoffs for the first time since 2014.
To return to the postseason, the Eagles must start strong in region play, Pruitt said. Their schedule features some key early season challenges before giving way to a critical stretch of region games.
“We play Brindlee Mountain and then play New Hope (early in region play), and that was a struggle last season, a 6-0 game until the last play,” Pruitt, whose team defeated the Indians 13-0 after a final-play interception return for a touchdown. “If we can take care of business early, we’ll control our own destiny (in the second half of region play).”
After hosting Brindlee Mountain in the region opener Sept. 6, the Eagles visit New Hope Sept. 13 before visiting defending region champion Geraldine Oct. 4, hosting Susan Moore Oct. 11, visiting Sylvania Oct. 18 and hosting Pruitt’s alma mater, Plainview, Oct. 25.
“We were in every (region) game last year and hopefully that’ll help us this year,” Pruitt said. “I think we’ve made some big improvement. The guys have stayed on that right track. They laid the foundation last year.
“All of those games last year were a fight, and we know that our guys are going to fight in those kind of games. Hopefully we’ll be there in the mix for the playoffs and for the region (championship).”
Pisgah plays six home games during the regular season, with three of its four non-region opponents coming to Sam Kenimer Stadium.
Pisgah’s non-region games are its season-opener at Woodville Aug. 30, host Class 5A Boaz Sept. 20, host rival Section for Homecoming Sept. 27 and host archrival North Sand Mountain to close the regular season Nov. 1.
Three of Pisgah’s non-region games are against Jackson County teams, something Pruitt likes.
“I think it’s good to play local teams and makes for interest (throughout) the county,” he said.
Pisgah will tune-up for the season with a fall jamboree at Ider on Aug. 23.