CLASSICS ARE HERE – Friday night lights are back, with all the local high school football teams in action with their pre-season Kickoff Classics starting at 7:30 p.m. on a field near you. The rundown of games: Auburndale at Ridge Community, Bartow at Lake Region, Celebration at Fort Meade, Frostproof at Geroge Jenkins, Haines City at Mulberry, Kathleen at Lake Wales, and Lake Gibson at Winter Haven.

NET GAINS – With pre-season warmups pretty much out of the way, a number of East Polk volleyball teams will get their seasons started against each other early next week. Some of the key local matchups include Haines City at Lake Wales next Tuesday and Bartow hosting the Highlanders on the next night, Aug. 22. The Lady Jackets are at home Monday against Auburndale. Winter Haven opens Monday at Lake Wales.

MOVING ON UP – A number of local athletes are getting ready to start their college careers, some locally, like Bartow's Lexi Garcia, one of the better high school soccer players in the area during her career as a Yellow Jacket. She's been named to the Polk County Tremendous 10, for three straight years, was picked for All-county first team in 2018. "I loved the team, coaches, and the school from my first visit and look forward to meeting new people,” she said.

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