The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears work on defense late Monday afternoon as the team prepares for its first scrimmage against the Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans in Coldspring. All local high school football teams get their first look at competition in controlled scrimmages this week. Photo by Tommy Mann Jr.

Tommy Mann  Jr. – For The Record

Local football teams have been running drills for a week and contact practice for only a few days, but that all changes Friday, Aug. 12.

Coaches of high school football teams will get their first look at their squads and the progress they have made in the first two weeks of the young season as teams hold controlled scrimmages this Friday.

The Orangefield Bobcats will travel to Shepherd to face the Pirates on Friday.

The Bobcats, led by Coach Josh Smalley, return 13 starters from its 2015 team which finished the season with a record of 6-6 after reaching the second round of the playoffs.

Smalley is excited about the upcoming season and is anxious for the arrival of Friday so he can evaluate his team.

“The main thing I’m looking for in a scrimmage is to just see what shape we are in at this point,” Smalley said. “I’m also looking to see where some kids are who might not have much experience.”

Scrimmages are one way coaches evaluate player abilities and execution and competition against another opponent should help coaches observations.

“We have a couple of spots we are having some competition in,” he added. “The quarterback position is one we are wathcing and we have a couple of spots on defensive line we are looking at too.”

The Shepherd Pirates, members of District 11-4A Division II, finished the 2015 season with an 8-3 record and return nine starters for the 2016 season.

West Orange-Stark will travel to Port Neches-Groves High School on Friday to face the Indians at The Reservation at 7 p.m.

The Mustangs, led by Coach Cornel Thompson, are the defending Class 4A Division II State Champions and are looking to repeat in 2016. In fact, the team is favored to do just that in many publications as the Mustangs return a staggering 17 starters from its 15-1 championship squad.

The Indians are always contenders in District 22-5A and should be again this year as PN-G returns 12 starters from its 2015 squad which finished with a 9-3 record.

The Bridge City Cardinals will play host to a tri-scrimmage with the Buna Cougars and Beaumont Kelly Bulldogs with the action reportedly beginning at 6 p.m., Friday, for varsity.

The Cardinals, members of District 10-4A Division I, are under the guidance of second-year Coach Dwayne DuBois and return 14 starters from its 7-4 team in 2015.

The Buna Cougars are members of District 11-3A Division I and return 16 starters from its 2015 team which finished the season at 5-6 following a bi-district playoff appearance.

The Beaumont Kelly Bulldogs finished the 2015 season with a record of 4-7 after reaching the bi-district round. The team returns 12 starters and is a member of TAPPS Division I, District 3.

The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears will travel to the Houston region to face the Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans with the action reportedly starting at 10:30 a.m., Friday.. The Bears, led by Coach Randy Crouch, return nine starters from its 2015 squad which finished with a 3-7 record.

The Trojans are new to District 11-3A Division I this year after dropping the 4A ranks and return eight starters from a team which went 7-5 during the 2015 football campaign.

The Community Christian Lions will travel to High Island to test the Cardinals in a scrimmage on Friday as well.

The Lions play six-man football in TAPPS Division II, District 8 and are led by Coach Johnny Robinson. The team returns eight starters from its squad which 4-6 and a bi-district finalist during the 2015 season.

The High Island Cardinals play six-man football as a member of District 16-1A Division 1. The team reached the bi-district round of the playoffs in 2015 and finished the season with a 5-6 record.

The Deweyvill Pirates hit the road for the team’s first scrimmage of the season as the Pirates travel to Hardin to face the Hornets.

The Deweyville Pirates are led by Coach Lance Dale and return eight starters from a team which finished 3-7 in 2015.

The Hornets are part of the District 12-3A Division I and return 14 starters from a squad which finished the 2015 season with a 3-7 record.

The Vidor Pirates will travel down Interstate 10 West for the team’s first scrimmage of the year as the Pirates face off against against the Hornets at Galena Park.

The Vidor Pirates, led by Coach Jeff Mathews, finished the 2015 season with a record of 3-7. This year’s team returns 17 starters and gives the Pirates a good opportunity to shake-up District 22-5A.

The Hornets, members of District 23-5A, return 15 starters from its 2015 squad which finished the year at 2-8.