It's football season and I can't help but be excited. High school season is only a few weeks away.
I'll be Friday Night Lights-side again this year, helping out the sports department with its prep football coverage.
Here's my quick look - complete with a preseason power poll - of our local W.Va teams.
Parkersburg: The Big Reds open with three straight away games, including what may be the game of the week in Week 1, at Cabell Midland. The two teams usually provide some thrilling football and this one should be no exception. A win could set the table for a very nice season.
The MSAC is decent and the PHS is at the head of the class.
PHS could go anywhere from 10-0 to 7-3. I suspect they will be closer to 10-0 than 7-3.
The playoffs are foregone conclusion. Another championship run? Will see.
Parkersburg South: The Patriots will be better than they were last year.
The brutal schedule they played the last two years is behind them. With a lighter slate and some developing talent the Patriots will be an improved team. The Patriots should start 3-0 and we'll see how it goes from there. A .500 year seems a safe bet. A winning season is certainly a possibility.
Ripley: The surprise team of AAA this year? Possibly.
Led by Seth Parsons, the Vikings should see a playoff berth this season. 6-4 is a safe bet.
Magnolia: Could be a tough year in New Martinsville. The first three games will be key in determining Magnolia's fortunes. A game at cross-river rival River followed by home contests with Class A powerhouse Williamstown and arch-rival Tyler Consolidated will set the table for the year. Feast or famine? 6-4 would be a good year.
Tyler Consolidated: Rob Caldwell and his staff have done a heck of job in Kidwell. The Knights are coming off a playoff run from last year and should pick up six wins no problem. Maybe seven or eight. The playoffs are a good bet.
Magnolia will be a good test for the Knights.
Ritchie County: The Rebels struggles are well documented. Don't see much changing this year. Sorry, but two wins would be good.
Ravenswood: Not a lot of numbers and not a lot of size, but a favorable schedule should have the Red Devils hovering around the .500 mark.
Roane County: Another member of the Class AA 50-50 club? The Raiders will be another team hovering around the .500 mark this season. 6-4, and the playoffs, is a possible.
Williamstown: A new winning streak? Why not? The Yellowjackets remain the alpha dog of the LKC and things aern't going to change this year. Williamstown has its two toughest road test right out of the gate; at Tyler and at Magnolia.
It's Williamstown; you know the same Yellowjackets who haven't lost to a Class A public school team since 2000. And haven't lost to an LKC member school since 1999.
The playoffs are a done deal. An undefeated regular-season? It could happen. Could is the operative word. Either way, the Yellowjackets will be fun to watch.
PS: Check out the football site. www.whsfootball.net. Outstanding!
The Blue Devils will continue their climb in the LKC. Jodi Mote's minion will see the playoffs once again this year.
A game with Man followed by trips to Moorefield and Williamstown will highlight the regular season.
A home playoff game is a good bet. So is a 8-2 or 9-1 record.
Parkersburg Catholic: Buffalo, St. Marys, Fayetteville, Wahama and Williamstown dot the Crusaders schedule. Typical tough slate to get Catholic in post-season shape.
Can Danny Tennant get the Crusaders back to the post-season? Buffalo and Fayetteville will tell the tale.
Wirt County: The Tigers have a lot of personnel losses they have to cope with. Don't think it's enough to make the Class A playoffs. A five-win season would be a good year for Wirt.
Calhoun County: The Red Devils have five wins on their slate.
Parkersburg Catholic will be the barometer game. A win over the Crusaders and the playoffs are a possibility. A loss and the season ends 10 games in.
Gilmer County: I don't know if a lighter schedule will help the Titans. Playing five straight games on the road in the middle of the season won't help. 3-7 would be a good year.
Doddridge County: Another long season for the Bulldogs. Home games with Valley Fayette, Gilmer and Ritchie County are winnable.
Paden City: Same old Paden City. The Wildcats will give it their best effort.
Preseason Power Poll