Lights, fight songs and football. That’s what the fall and onset of the school year brings to the San Pedro Valley.

In two weeks, Bobcat Nation will file into the Jerry P. Lee Athletics Complex as the Benson Bobcats open the prep football season on Friday night, Aug. 30, for a 7 p.m. encounter with the visiting San Manual Miners.

This year’s Bobcats are small but “...determined to get things done,” noted head coach Chris Determan. “Kids came to work this week and get better.”

That was after Friday’s controlled scrimmage in Benson. Under the scrimmage format, no score is kept and defenses stay off the quarterbacks. It provides a chance, Determan says, “... to get a look at somebody else besides our own team.”

The scrimmage offered the Bobcats insight into what they’ll need to do moving forward, the coach said. “We moved the ball at times and on defense we flew around and had fun.”

But there is plenty of work to do towards improvement, discipline being one of the area’s the boys will need to improve on quickly, said Determan. He noted too many penalties for his liking and “a lack of focus in our own job inside of the team.” He said the Bobcats would “work on staying low and being aggressive up front and fly on defense.”

The Benson backfield, anchored by seniors quarterback Talon Palmer, running backs D’Ondre Villalobos and Carson Barney, should be a force to be reckoned with. But it all starts on the front line, said Determan.

“It doesn’t matter who carries the ball, it’s who gets it done up front,” the coach said. “Those men will anchor us on both sides of the ball and do the dirty work with not many accolades, except from the players and coaches. On Defense we will look for leadership from all over. All kids will have to play well!”

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