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Tigers seek self-improvement in Thursday’s jamboree

The Greenville Tigers will face a Class 6A appetizer before partaking in next week’s full-course meal as the team hosts the visiting Stanhope Elmore Mustangs for a fall jamboree Thursday.

Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon said that though the jamboree is treated as more of a learning experience, its an important game nonetheless.

“We just want to use it as one of those games to see where we’re at, and see what we need to work on,” McLendon said. “We want to get out of there healthy and iron out the kinks before we get going next week.

“It’ll be three quarters of varsity and a quarter of J.V.  It’ll be an opportunity to get everybody some work, see what we can get on film, see what we need to improve on and go from there.”

The Mustangs experienced a late-summer coaching change as Mike Dean relieved Jeff Foshee of the head coach position in July.

Dean coached Charles Henderson in 2012-13, going 23-5 in two seasons and leading the Trojans to a state runner-up spot in 2013.

Because of the recent coaching change, McLendon said that it changed the way he and the Tigers traditionally prepared for weekly opponents.

“What they did in the past is a lot different from what they do now,” McLendon said.

“So we’re going to do our thing on offense and defense based on what we’ve been working on, so it’s not going to really change a whole lot for us or them, either.  Both teams are going to be really simple on both sides of the ball.”

Despite that, McLendon suspects that the Mustangs will prove a real test of the Tigers’ abilities at this point in the season.

“They’re going to be very athletic on both sides of the ball,” McLendon said.

“They’re a big-time Class 6A program, so they’re going to have plenty of athletes.  The new head coach there, Mike Dean, does a good job.  He’s a defensive guy, and he’ll have them coached up and ready to go, so it’ll be a good test for us to see where we’re at and go from there.”

But even more than the Mustangs, the Tigers will also be tested by the palpable atmosphere of a real football game.

“Playing in front of a crowd and the band with everybody watching… it’ll be good for us to get out there and play on the field, get in front of a crowd and let these guys get some experience in front of some other people besides just the coaches,” McLendon said.

The Tigers will suit up for preseason action Thursday night at Tiger Stadium beginning at 7 p.m.