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Devils look to Woodham game for more answers

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
The Escambia County Blue Devils are looking to this Friday's preseason game against Woodham High School as a prime opportunity to answer several lingering questions.
Perhaps the most important for head coach Frankie Bell and the rest of the coaching staff revolves around the conditioning of their players. While players have been practicing for about three weeks now, Bell said it is tough to tell what kind of shape the players are in until they are put in a real-game situation.
As far as the game itself, Bell said there is no doubt the coaches and players are going there with the intentions of winning.
ECHS coaches will be keeping a close eye on many positions during the game as they are still working on personnel choices.
Woodham, located in Pensacola, is not a familiar foe for the Blue Devils. But, Bell said they have historically fielded good teams and play in a very tough league.
To prepare for the night game, the Blue Devils held a practice session on Tuesday night to help get players accustomed to the lighting.
During that workout, scrimmages were planned to help the players learn the offensive and defensive schemes n a part of the summer practices that has not went as smoothly as Bell would have liked.
Bell said the Devils are looking at a lot of work over the next two weeks to get more plays down before opening the regular season against state champions T.R. Miller on Friday, Aug. 31. While the Devils' season ended at the end of the regular season, Miller had five more weeks to play, and five more weeks of practice.
The strong aspects of the Devils' game so far this summer has been along the lines and at defensive end. Bell said he is very pleased with the work those groups have done over the summer.
A goal for the coaching staff is to make sure everybody gets in the game.
With the season only one week away, Bell said injuries is a concern. But, added that injuries are a concern every time his team takes the field.
Many Blue Devils will be pulling double duty as players are expected to be assigned to start on both defense and offense.
The Blue Devils are looking to improve on last season's 1-8 record.
The game is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and students.