Jackson Central-Merry’s game against Camden this week marks the Cougars’ return to region play.
The Cougars will host the Lions at Liberty Tech’s stadium this week as their home games against non-Jackson schools will rotate among the other three Jackson-Madison County Schools stadiums depending on which teams are not playing at home on those weeks.
According to conversations in JMCSS Board committee meetings in the last couple weeks, plans are still in place for dirt to begin being moved in late September or early October to start construction of JCM’s new stadium adjacent to Oman Arena and the former building that housed Madison Academic and Jackson High School before that. The schedule has the stadium being complete in time for JCM’s first home game in 2024.
School and district leadership will also figure out where the Cougars are to practice while that construction is happening since they currently practice on the field inside the track where the stadium is set to be built.
But for this week, the Cougars prepare for Camden.
Before the season, JCM head coach Erit Turner said he was looking forward to the opportunity for the Cougars to compete for the playoffs.
“That’s a big reason you play football is those region games,” Turner said. “You want to make the playoffs and compete for championships, and region games are the first step in that.
“And we’ve got a really good region with some really good teams for us to get back to that in.”
Both teams enter this week’s game 1-1. JCM won in Week 1, shutting out Liberty.
Camden beat Bruceton last week.
The Lions are led by Matt McConnell, who was the head coach at Waverly during the previous decade when they were scoring a lot of points and going far in the Class 2A playoffs every year.
McConnell has Camden playing that way now as they’ve scored 50 points or more in both games. Waverly beat them Week 1 71-50. When they beat Bruceton last week, the final was 53-31. So the combined scores of Camden’s games are 103 for the Lions and combined 102 for their opponents.
This game will be a clash of styles as JCM’s final scores have been lower. After they shut Liberty out 31-0, they fell short in a close game at South Side and lost 21-19.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Brandon Shields, firstname.lastname@example.org