As the current school year draws nearer to an end, plans are already underway for the 2006 football season for the Tift County Blue Devils.

The big summer event for the Devils will be on July 15 as the team will host 31 other schools in a day-long passing league tournament.

“We are expecting teams from Georgia, north Florida and southeast Alabama. We will have games at four different fields and four different brackets. The plan is for all 32 teams to get at least four games during the day,” said Tift head coach Jay Walls.

Besides their own event, the Devils will also participate in the annual Valdosta State tournament. That will take place sometime in June.

The team will begin official workouts for the 2006 season on Aug. 2. That is the first day the Georgia High School Association will allow for practice this year.

That first week can only be in helmets and shoulder pads. The team can practice in full gear on Aug. 7.

After hosting the Dublin Fighting Irish on Aug. 25 for the only preseason scrimmage of the year, the Blue Devils will officially open the 2006 campaign on Sept. 1 at home against Brooks County.

The next game will have Tift County against Collins Hill on Sept. 9 in a game that will be a part of the inaugural South Georgia Classic at Camden County. That contest will conclude a day that will also see Camden County and Valdosta playing against teams from North Georgia.

Tift will then travel to Americus-Sumter County on Sept. 15. Following that game the Devils will return home to face Thomas County Central on Sept. 22.

Taking a week off, the Devils will open up Region 1-AAAAA play at home against Valdosta on Oct. 6. Tift will then be on the road at Coffee High on Oct. 13 and at Houston County on Oct. 19. The Houston game will be on a Thursday night.

Tift will then have home games on Oct. 27 against new league foe Warner Robins and on Nov. 3 against defending state champion Lowndes High.

The Devils will close out the season on Nov. 10 on the road at Colquitt County.

In 2006 season, the season will begin three weeks later than in 2005. All Tift County home games will also begin at 8 p.m. this season, moving from the 2005 starting time of 7:30 p.m.

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