While some people may believe Jacksonville High School athletic director and head football coach Wayne Coleman walks around with a lucky four-leaf clover in his pocket, he said that is not the case, when asked about the Indians' good fortune in being able to schedule all of its non-district games for the Historic Tomato Bowl.
“We had Crandall scheduled at home already,” Coleman said. “I think some of the other teams have heard about the Tomato Bowl and they are interested in playing there, to tell you the truth.”
After opening the season in front of the home fans on Sept. 25 against the Pirates from Crandall, members of District 8-5A-II, Jacksonville will take on the Cleburne Yellow Jackets from District 5-5A-II on Oct. 2.
Crandall finished 10-3 as a member of Class 4A-I last year, while Cleburne has 13 starters returning off of a 5-5 team in 2019.
Non-conference play will wrap up on Sat., Oct. 10, when Nederland's Bulldogs come to town. Kick off is slated for 2 p.m.
The Bulldogs return a slew of experienced players, especially in the skilled positions. Nederland went 4-7 last season.
“I like the teams that we have lined up to play,” Coleman said. “I think we will be able to compete well against these teams, and at the same time be able to get what we need to get us ready for district.”
Jacksonville has never faced Crandall or Cleburne on the gridiron.
Nederland is 4-3 all-time against the Tribe. The clubs last met in an Area skirmish during the 2004 season when Jacksonville prevailed, 20-14.
After an open date on Oct. 16, Jacksonville will commence District 9-5A-II play by traveling to Hallsville on Oct. 23.
On Halloween Eve, Jacksonville will be looking to scare up a victory over Marshall.
Conference play then sees the Indians playing two-consecutive road games, visiting Pine Tree on Nov. 6 and Nacogdoches on Nov. 13.
“I really think Pine Tree is going to be the dark horse in the conference race,” Coleman said. “They have a good quarterback (D.J. Freeman) coming back, and a lot of their kids have been playing together for a long time.”
On Nov. 20, Texas High is slated to invade the Tomato Bowl.
“Marshall and Texas High are going to be the teams to beat in district it looks like,” Coleman said.
Jacksonville will make the short drive to Whitehouse on Nov. 27 to take on the Wildcats, before closing out the regular season at home against Mount Pleasant on Dec. 4.