Before the Starkville Academy Volunteers open the season against a Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A school, they get a taste of it by scrimmaging against a pair of big time public schools Friday night at the Jackson Academy jamboree.
The Vols, who play Ackerman in their first game next Thursday, take on Class 6A Greenville Weston at 6:30 p.m. and Class 6A Northwest Rankin at 8 p.m. at the jamboree.
It's an opportunity that Starkville Academy coach Jeff Terrill welcomes.
"Right now they don't count and we're getting experience," Terrill said. "I think it's bigger for us than it is for bigger schools because we can't have an intersquad scrimmage and get a whole lot out of it. It's good for us and we hope to come out of it healthy."
That's something that went against the Vols in last week's scrimmage against Leake Academy with a few bumps and bruises coming out of it.
"That hits you this time of the year," Terrill said. "You start getting some nagging injuries and you have some kids out. It makes preparation and improvement tough at times.
"It escalates when you are on a smaller level when you've got only 30 kids compared to across the road that has 60. We just don't have the depth to accomplish as much so it's been a struggle, but the kids are still putting their head down, pushing forward and are working hard."