Chatter about the back-to-back State Champion Wolves can already be heard on the sidewalks and side streets of Broad, and Coach John Reid, Head Football Coach and Athletic Director for Rome City Schools, said the Pack is handling the hype with hard work and a level head.

“We use July to prepare by teaching the fundamentals, weight training and some conditioning. We are excited about this season, but we won’t start specifically preparing for individual opponents until the pads come on later this year,” said Reid. “In looking at our first game with Marietta for the Corky Kell Classic, they advanced to the playoffs last year, have an outstanding quarterback and have a good ball team. However, we don’t want to over prepare for one aspect of the game and lose in another that we didn’t give the right amount of attention to.”

The Wolves enter this season with a Max Preps ranking of 31st in the nation. As all await the class, region and state rankings, Reid says he and his guys are focusing on getting better all around.

“It is definitely a big game, but we coach character on and off the field. With that said, we prepare for every opponent and we also teach good values and character. We give every rep 100 percent effort and we ask that they approach the classroom, their attitudes and their behavior off the field in the same manner. We want to make our players good citizens and that translates into being successful on the field as well,” said Reid. “Last year the Harrison game was a huge game as well and our kids handled it really well. They have been in really big games before and we are proud of how they’ve carried themselves.”

Fans can get a good look at the middle school, junior varsity and the varsity squads during the 4th annual Soap Game at Barron Stadium. Admission to the game will be donations of Gatorade powder and/or laundry detergent for the football teams and the action starts at 5 p.m. In these scrimmage games, the Wolves will play two 10 minute quarters against each other. Any chance to get a look at Rome Football before the season is great, but Reid says the folks he talks to can’t wait to see the Wolves in action on August 16th.

“I’ve walked around town and a lot of business people are really excited about Cory Kell coming to Rome. We have a great community and a community who loves football, so everyone seems to be embracing our chance to host the game,” Reid said. “Lots of the locals I see out at the restaurants are thrilled about our first game. I rarely go out without someone stopping me to say, ‘Coach, that is really cool!’ This season is going to be a lot of fun and we look forward to kicking it off with the Cory Kell Classic.”

Games for the Corky Kell Classic will feature Calhoun vs. Ridgeland at 5:30 p.m. and Rome vs. Marietta will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets will be sold at the Barron Stadium ticket booth on Aug. 2-3, Aug. 9-10 and Aug. 13-16. Ticket booths will open at noon and close at 3 p.m. and are $12. Purchasing tickets the day of will cost $17. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.corkykell.com#1Rome.