Amauri Norris, 34, and the Goose Creek Memorial Patriots open up the 2019 football season against Sam Rayburn at 7 p.m. tonight at Stallworth Stadium.

Season kicks off at 7 p.m. vs. Rayburn at Stallworth

The Goose Creek Memorial football team kicks off a new season with first-time head coach Shannon Carter beginning his inaugural season with the Patriots.

Carter and the Patriots will start things off at 7 p.m. tonight at Stallworth Stadium against Sam Rayburn.

In taking a closer look at the Patriots, Carter felt the preseason has given him plenty to look at as he gets GCM ready for his first official game in charge after two scrimmages against Hardin-Jefferson and Dayton.

“I thought in our first scrimmage against Hardin-Jefferson, we started off strong offensively and slow defensively,” Carter said. “Then in the second scrimmage, we played well defensively, but didn’t execute well offensively. That’s something that happens as we struggle with consistency. It’s nothing I haven’t been expecting. Hopefully we put it all together.”

Carter has been pleased with the team’s work ethic and desire to win.

“As long as they continue to work as they have been and have the desire that they want to learn, repetition is the father of success,” Carter said. “We are only going to get better as we push forward.”

Carter said his special teams will need to play well along with seeing strength in execution of play calls and substitution patterns.

“You also wonder how they will play under the lights,” Carter said. “Scrimmages are just more intense practices. Now we find how they play when it’s really on the line. That’s what we will find out.”

Carter will go into the contest with Emmerson Haywood at quarterback and running back Brice Lane.

“We had a couple of injuries with some of our weapons on offense that didn’t go last week so we are getting them all back healthy,” Carter said. “We’re young, but we are getting a lot better.”

Junior Kyron Pitre has been banged up, but he is expected to offer plenty of options running and catching the ball while also offering some looks at quarterback for Carter.

“He’s going to be a big weapon for us,” Carter said.

Carter will go with a handful of sophomores to start on defense.

Cornerbacks Ariel Hector and Reggie Holmes and Josiah Rice will have to step up for GCM earlier than anticipated.

Carter said he wants to keep the game plan simple for them .

“So they can go out and use their God-given ability,” Carter said. “They are talented kids with good speed and size and they are ahead of their time. It bodes well for the future, but sometimes the future gets rushed.”

Sam Rayburn has a new coaching staff and appear to be “tough and gritty” according to Carter. Last year the Patriots beat Sam Rayburn 38-7 in Pasadena.

“They’ve installed some new schemes and we are mirror programs trying to establish new programs,” Carter said. “They play extremely hard. They are more conventional. You can tell that they are learning. You’d like to think in a week they’ll be better like we will be.”

A win tonight would help jump start a new program at GCM which is trying to flip the script from 2-8 a year ago. 

“Obviously, it’s better to win, because then it’s easier to buy what you are selling,” Carter said. “We don’t want it to be the end all, be all, but we are looking forward to winning the football game and play well while doing it.”

Tickets for the game cost $7 at the gate.

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