The first day of high school football practice is right around the corner and most everyone I know is quite anxious as anticipation builds for what could be in store.
Sometime early Saturday afternoon, the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will release its preseason football poll based on what all the coaches think might possibly happen.
Personally, I'm interested to see how things shake out and where the coaches rank everyone.
As has been the case on numerous instances in the past, being picked high in the preseason WVIAC poll doesn't necessarily mean the team is going to be successful.
Here in the sports department we are getting geared up for the annual football tab and preparing to make visits to all of our area schools.
Last week I had the chance to visit Wirt County and talk to some of the senior football players. That group is hoping to extend the Tigers' current postseason run to four straight years.
Although I haven't analyzed every schedule for each of our high school teams quite yet, there's little question the first two games for Wirt County head coach Jason Hickman could very well make or break the Tigers' season.
Of course, even an 0-2 start doesn't mean a team will have a 100 percent guarantee of missing the playoffs, but it sure will make things much harder.
The first three Tiger games are on the road and the first two involve squads which could vie for postseason berths in Moorefield and St. Marys.
I have to give coach Hickman some props because when I talked to a quartet of the seniors it seemed they had been trained at least a little in the proverbial coachspeak. You know, where the coach always tells the reporter it's all about taking it one game at a time and not looking ahead.
Technically, that is quite true, but go ask someone like Ripley's Jimmy Frashier about taking it one game at a time and how often he or fellow Viking players or coaches aren't asked about that other team in the county - Ravenswood.
Nonetheless, out of the football players I talked to while in Elizabeth - and each of them left me with a good impression after I had finished talking to them - I have to be frank and say senior James Ellison is quite a character to be around.
"I just want to have a good year and just keep it going," Ellison said. "We've had it going for the last three years and we just want to keep the tradition alive and leave next year's team with the same tradition that last year's team left me."
When I asked him about the early portion of the schedule he replied, "whoever is next, every week. We don't really have one particular team we want to beat. We want them all. It's go big or go home."
Also, I've got some spots available for anyone who would like to be a guest grid picker so just drop me a line if you're interested.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org