By ERIC X. VICCARO
FESTUS — Last Friday served as the dress rehearsal for the Ste. Genevieve High School football team.
This week will mark the Dragons’ official debut under new management — first-year head coach Jay Pope.
“There is always excitement leading up to nay first game of the year because the potential for the season is still unlimited,” Pope said.
“This year, that level of excitement has been building as more and more people have gotten behind this group of players,” Pope continued. “Hopefully, we can make our community proud.”
Pope replaced Ken Weik, who resigned last December after the Dragons posted a record of 4-5 — eliminated by Kennett from the postseason in the second round.
The Dragons face a stern test Week One at Festus, a 25-minute trek from Ste. Genevieve. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
“Festus is a great challenge,” Pope noted. “But it will be a great gauge for what the 2021 Dragons are capable of. Festus has weapons all over the field.”
Tigers’ head coach A.J. Ofodile, who played briefly in the National Football League during the 1990s, will turn 6-foot-4, 221-pound Baylor commit tight end Kaian Roberts-Day loose on the Dragons.
Look for Festus to run a power spread offense, with a tight end/H-back on the field more than 50 percent of the time. The Tigers also will use run-pass option plays on offense. Cole Rickerman is an experienced senior quarterback.