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Meadowview tries to stay unbeaten

The Meadowview Trojans will gain a better idea of their capabilities when they play host to region foe Monroe Academy on Friday night.

“This is big. This is huge,” said coach Rick Jackson. “(The players) know this is a big test.”

A big test may be an understatement. The Volunteers return 14 starters from a team that finished 6-4 in Class AAA last season and are off to a dominant start this year. They are 2-0 with wins over Class A Sumter Academy (47-0) and Clarke Prep (41-0) — a team that finished 9-3 in Class AAA last season.

It was Clarke’s worst loss since falling to Bessemer Academy 41-13 in 2007.

“I know that when I heard that score it scared the daylights out of me,” said Jackson. “We already knew it was going to be a huge challenge for our football team.”

But Monroe cannot afford to overlook the 2-0 Trojans. After losing most of the starters from last year’s AISA Class AA runner-ups, Meadowview is shaping up to be one of the state’s surprise teams this year with impressive wins over Jackson (34-7) and Wilcox Academy (42-22).

“It’s been a total team effort,” said Jackson. “We’re still working on ourselves. We need to continue to improve in all areas of our football team.”

Friday will mark the first meeting between the two schools since both dropped to Class A following the 2001 season. Monroe had just wrapped up a Class AAA state championship, and Meadowview finished a losing season in AA.

The Volunteers took the 2002 and 2003 meetings 28-0 and 62-27, respectively, before moving back up a class prior to the 2004 season. The Trojans returned to AA at the same time.

An AISA realignment before this season brought Monroe to Class AA and into Meadowview’s region.

“This one will be big for both teams in the region race,” said Jackson. “A win would no doubt be a big boost to the confidence level.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Friday at Wasden Field.