The last thing any football team wants to do, no matter the level they are playing at, is start the season with a loss.
Beginning the year at 0-2, especially during a high school 10-game season, might not be a total recipe for disaster, but it's none too good either.
Three Little Kanawha Conference playoff teams from last season - Ritchie County, Wirt County and Parkersburg Catholic - will try to avoid that fate this week.
"They are going to be hungry for a win and coach (Mike) Dawson does a good job. There is no doubt he will have them prepared for us," said Roane County head coach Paul Burdette, whose squad will play host to the Rebels from Ellenboro on Friday evening at County Stadium.
Parkersburg Catholic will try and pick up its first victory on Saturday afternoon at Stadium Field versus Pocahontas County. Meanwhile, Wirt County is trying to recover from a tough 42-35 road loss last Saturday at Moorefield and now has to turn around and face St. Marys, which knocked off Ritchie County, on Friday night at Imlay Field.
Without question, I think there are a lot of good games to go watch this week, not just contests involving the aforementioned squads.
Perhaps one of the best battles could come in New Martinsville where Magnolia is set to welcome visiting Williamstown. The Blue Eagles just missed out on a Class AA playoff berth last season and after letting one slip away Saturday night in a 21-20 setback to Linsly, a Magnolia win here would be just what the doctor ordered for head coach Mark Batton and his troops.
Although the ship can be righted following an 0-2 beginning, Wirt County head coach Jason Hickman is hoping his squad doesn't have to worry about that.
"We have another formidable opponent coming up this week," said Hickman, who was actually fairly pleased with the Tigers' performance against what he considers a very solid Moorefield program.
"It's still on the road and it's going to be a challenge. We just have to take it one play at a time and one drive at a time and find a way to win that thing."
Wirt County did rally from a 34-19 deficit to take a short-lived 35-34 lead before the Yellow Jackets scored the final touchdown.
"Defensively there are some things we need to improve on and we had all underclassmen (starting) at linebacker and they are working at it this week," Hickman added.
"We are going to have to play better because St. Marys drove it right down Ritchie County's throat. We have to improve on defense to have the outcome we want this weekend."
That's exactly what coach Burdette is telling his players, too. Roane County started off slow against Clay County before pulling away and he knows the last thing coach Dawson wants is for all that preseason work to culminate with an 0-2 beginning.
"It would be huge," Burdette said of going 2-0. "We need it and it would play a big role in our season."
Contact Jay Bennett at email@example.com