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Red Barons brace for tough schedule

GATESVILLE – It’s not a schedule for the weak.

Gates County High School will start their varsity football season with three larger schools – and that could be the weakest part of their schedule.

The Red Barons open the 2005 gridiron campaign August 26 when they host 3-A rival Currituck. They follow with another home game September 2 against Warren County.

The first road trip of the season comes a week later when the Red Barons travel to traditional non-league foe Edenton-Holmes High School.

&uot;We’ve always started the season playing larger schools,&uot; head football coach Clark Harrell said. &uot;I believe we have to rise to the level of our opponents.

&uot;Also, this gives us an opportunity to find out early what our problems are and work on them,&uot; he added.

The conference schedule this season will be a combined league with the Albemarle Conference, of which Gates County is a member, and the Atlantic Conference. The two leagues will each have their own champions, but all games played between the two will count toward the conference record.

&uot;We start the conference season with Southside, so we better be ready from the get-go,&uot; Harrell said.

The Seahawks are the defending eastern champion in the 1-A ranks and the Red Barons will be visiting their home in Chocowinity on September 16.

The next week GCHS travels to Williamston for another league game.

The Red Barons will begin their home conference schedule September 30 when they play host to Northside.

October 7 will see the Red Barons travel to Camden while October 14 will see the Gates County squad host Roanoke. The next week, October 14, will see Manteo pay a visit to Gatesville.

The final two weeks will see Gates County travel to Plymouth on October 28 and host Perquimans November 4.

&uot;The consensus among the coaches is that the conference will be strong this year,&uot; Harrell said. &uot;Though, really that is nothing new.

&uot;Everybody in the league will have a shot,&uot; he continued. &uot;Almost every team will be better than they were last year.&uot;