Lobo Green/White Spring Game

Coach John King watches over his team during the Longview Lobos’ annual Green/White Spring Game on May 16 at Lobo Stadium.

Longview’s football program has been preparing to face competition all offseason, and it has finally reached the point of the calendar where it’ll be able to show off its progress.

That’s because the Longview Lobos are hosting a home scrimmage against longtime foe Texas High on Thursday at Lobo Stadium.

“We had two physical practices on Monday and Tuesday heading into [Thursday’s] scrimmage,” said Longview athletic director and head football coach John King. “The focus this time of year is always on us. That’s been the case, and I’ve been real pleased with the kids’ attendance, their attention of the things we’re doing, and the effort they’re putting forward.”

Thursday night’s events will begin with sub-varsity action at 5 p.m. The Longview and Texas High JV teams will compete for 80 minutes on the south side of Lobo Stadium, and the schools’ ninth grade teams will battle on the north end of the venue at the same time.

The varsity teams will warm up at 6:30 p.m., and begin their varsity scrimmage at 7 p.m. Both the first and second-team players will compete for 48 snaps. The kicking game session will feature four attempts by the Longview and Texas High field goal units, and four snaps involving the teams’ punt units.

The final thing on the docket will be the live scrimmage format, which will include a 15-minute quarter for the varsity first-teamers, and a 10-minute period for the varsity second-teamers. Both Longview and Texas High will receive two timeouts, and their quarterbacks will be protected. Special teams plays will also be dead, and there will be no kickoffs.

“I think it’s important for every player that we got on the team,” King said of the game-like opportunity in the scrimmage on Thursday. “From Jalen Hale all the way down. He needs to go out and play some live snaps. Now, do I need to see him catch 50 balls? No. We know what Jalen Hale can do. Same can be said for Willie Nelson, Taylor Tatum or Jax Norman.”

The event will serve as the final tune-up before the team travels to McKinney ISD Stadium for the THSCA Kickoff Classic regular season opener against McKinney Boyd on Aug. 26.

“I think it’s been a good scrimmage ever since we started this back in 2018,” King said of his team’s annual scrimmage matchup with Texas High in recent seasons. “Texas High is a good football team, and they are going to give you a good test on the line of scrimmage, as well at the skill spots. That’s what you look for.”

The type of opponent is important, but it’s not the only reason why the team needs to make the most of Thursday’s opportunity.

“It comes back to being able to do the little things correctly,” said King. “Let’s line up, not have pre-snap penalties, and execute when the ball is snapped. There are going to be certain touches that you want to see people get, and there are going to be certain plays or situations that you want to see your kids execute in. That’s going to be the things that I’m going to be looking for.”

NOTE: The Longview/Texas High scrimmage will be involved in the THSCA “Our Day to Shine” initiative. Fan admission will be three dollars via debit and credit card. It will go towards the THSCA Benevolence Fund, which helps coaches and players in need.

Follow Thomas Bingham on Twitter: @Texas8thGen

Howdy y'all! I'm the Longview News-Journal's multimedia sports reporter. I have deep East Texas roots and love covering the region's stories and games. I graduated from UT, and have covered sports in different parts of Texas throughout my career.