Originally scheduled to play its season opener the following day, Woodstock got the initial call from WSB in the spring, asking the school if it would be open to playing a day earlier.
School officials agreed, and athletic director Scott Krug said it’s the prefect way begin the school year.
“It’s going to be awesome,” he said. “Normally, the (Corky Kell Classic) games played at the (Georgia) Dome kick off the year, so were honored to host Johns Creek. It’s great to be able to kick off the whole state. Getting to play on TV is something that doesn’t happen often, or playing in the first game of the year. Now we get to do both.”
The game will be aired live at 7:30 p.m., online at www.wsbtv.com and via WSB’s digital cable outlet on Comcast Cable channel 248. A rebroadcast will follow on WSB’s primary channel at 1 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 25.
It will be the first of two WSB-televised Thursday games for local teams. Etowah will host Milton for an Oct. 4 game.
Krug said Woodstock has been feeling the buzz for the occasion of playing on TV.
“Everyone is excited,” he said. “The parents, the boosters, the players — they’re all excited and fired up.”
For coach Brent Budde, the game will provide his players with an extra bit of incentive to perform at their best.
“It’s something to motivate the kids — being on TV and playing in the first game of the year,” Budde said. “It’ll be a great experience for our players. From the moment we found out last spring, they’ve been really excited about it.”
Budde insists, however, that, despite the team’s excitement, practice has been unaffected and has continued on as usual.
“Everything has been done the same at practice. We just have a week less to prepare,” Budde said. “Normally, after our scrimmage game, we have another week before our first game. This year, we don’t get that.”
Budde estimated that the team would only have the benefit of 14 full practices, rather than their normal 21, under their belt before the season opener.
The team will actually hit the field on this weekend, practicing Saturday in an attempt to make up for the shortened preseason.
When asked if his players had been distracted by the game being broadcast on live television, Budde laughed at the notion.
“They’re focused on the process — the process of knowing what it is going to take to win,” said Budde. “They’re not worried about it. We’ve made sure to let them know just to focus on what we have to do to be successful.”
For sophomore quarterback Justin Agner, the thought of being on TV, while exciting, is something the Wolverines have dealt with before.
“Sure, we’ve talked about being on TV, but we were on it last year against Etowah,” Agner said, “so it’s nothing new to us.”
Agner, who will be taking over as Woodstock’s starting quarterback, backs up his coach’s claims regarding the team’s focus.
“I think we open practice a bit better because of our excitement for the game, but it’s not a distraction,” Agner said. “We’ve been able to push it aside and not think about it that much. For us, it’s just another game.”