By JEFF STAHLHUT
For the Call
With some big expectations on the table this season, it’s important that the Affton High School football Cougars get off to a good start when the season kicks off this weekend
Cougars Coach Dan Oliver believes his team is ready to do just that.
“We’re doing all right to this point,” Oliver told the Call. “We practiced just about every day in that heat, but the second week of heat really became a hindrance.”
Even with the heat difficulties all local teams have faced, the Cougars believe they are in good shape to get the season going.
“We got to go out and play in a jamboree last weekend with Lutheran St. Charles, Orchard Farm and Chaminade, and we certainly feel like in a four-quarter game we would have done well against those teams,” Oliver said. “I’m glad we got to play, knowing a lot of schools around here had to cancel. We were surprised and pleased we played.”
Practices have gone, for the most part, according to plan, and Oliver has been happy with how his team has gotten to work. Even so, this year the Cougars are somewhat younger than they were a year ago and their coach knew they would face some youth-related challenges on the practice field.
“We have a group of sophomores that are very talented,” Oliver said. “And they are trying to adjust to the pace of a varsity practice compared to last year’s freshman practices. But we’re happy with how it’s gone, especially with the way the older kids have handled things.”
Now with their preseason practices al-most over, Affton must gear up for its opening week contest against the Principia Panthers. Oliver knows they will not be a pushover.
“They feel they are going to have a pretty good team over there,” he said. “And they will be better than they were last year, but we do feel that we should be in a position where we can perform at a level where we can be successful against them. We have learned from our jamboree what we need to fix, and we will have it fixed for our first game.”
The Cougars will open the season at 1 p.m. Saturday at Principia High School, 13201 Clayton Road.