Football season is not just around the corner; it's here.
The Kilgore High School Bulldogs will practice for a second straight week this week, host the community in the annual watermelon fest on Thursday night, and then travel to Gilmer for a preseason scrimmage with the Buckeyes on Friday.
This is the first full week the Ragin' Red will be in shoulder pads, after starting that last Friday.
The community watermelon fest will be, as always, at the Mitchell Field House on campus, at 7 p.m. Thursday. The band, Hi-Steppers, twirlers and cheerleaders will all be on hand, and after a couple of performances, the watermelon will be served.
On Friday, Kilgore's freshmen and junior varsity will scrimmage at Gilmer at 6 p.m., with varsity to start around 7:30. There will be a second preseason scrimmage, this one here at R.E. St. John, next weekend, on Friday, Aug. 24, against Kaufman. It will also be a freshmen-JV 6 p.m. start, with varsity to follow.
Kilgore opens the 2018 season – coach Mike Wood's ninth as head coach – on Friday night, Aug. 31, at home against Nacogdoches. The Bulldogs are also home the following week against Hallsville on Sept. 7. Kilgore visits Pine Tree Sept. 14, Texas High Sept. 21, and then hosts Pittsburg Sept. 28 for homecoming.
After an open date on Oct. 5, the Ragin' Red will start their District 10-4A schedule. They'll play at Chapel Hill on Oct. 12, host Henderson Oct. 19, visit Van on Oct. 26, host Palestine on Nov. 2, and finish the regular season at Carthage on Nov. 9.
Also, season ticket packages that include a ticket for each of the Bulldogs' home games are currently on sale to the general public in the KHS athletic department office on campus.
As for subvarsity games, freshmen and JV begin play on Thursday, August 30, at Nac (their games are at the opposite site of the varsity), and seventh and eighth grade teams from Kilgore Middle School won't begin play until Thursday night, Sept. 13, at Pine Tree – KMS games are at the same site as the varsity each week.