Time for football

In my opinion, the only thing that beats the opening weekend of high school football is the start of Major League Baseball season.

Even though we are inching nearer to the MLB postseason, the focus has turned to football and I’m ready for Friday night.

Of course, we do have a pair of Mid-Ohio Valley programs starting the season this evening. Caldwell will entertain Newcomerstown at 7 p.m. and Federal Hocking is at Alexander for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

It looks like I’ll be making the trek to Ripley to watch the battle of first-year head coaches in the Vikings’ Dave Tennant and Parkersburg South’s Mike Eddy. Let’s suffice it to say this affair could be what I would call a battle of the unknowns.

“We are dealing with some injury bugs and trying to patch some guys in here and there,” admitted PSHS head coach Mike Eddy. However, Viking head coach Dave Tennant’s team also is dealing with injury issues.

“We have the ability, but we have to get them to believe,” said Tennant, whose squad will run a spread attack compared to the Patriots’ expected wing-T offensive formation.

One of the more interesting games on this week’s slate I feel is the battle in Elizabeth where Valley (Fayette) and its veer offense comes to tangle with Wirt County. The Tigers plan to run as many offensive plays as possible and hope to wear down the Greyhounds.

“If we are going to win this game we have to win the turnover battle,” said Wirt County head coach Jason Hickman. “Valley is a good team, a big team and have some good skill guys.”

Although not the easiest opener, I’m anxious to see how things play out for Roane County when it heads to Clay County with junior quarterback Cody May at the helm.

“We’ve told them all week it comes down to two things, effort and technique,” said Raider head man Paul Burdette. “If we can do those two things better than Clay can do them then we’ll be OK.”

As most everyone knows who has been around prep football in the area for very long, the best hot dogs always have been sold at Calhoun County High School.

For me, going to a Calhoun County game and not having a hot dog is like going to a Wirt County home game and not visiting the band boosters concession stand on the visitors sideline and grabbing a sausage sandwich or a hamburger.

When Friday night rolls around in Mt. Zion, a sick and tired group of Titans from Gilmer County will be out to prove something this year. For the last 13 seasons, the Titans have opened the campaign with a loss to rival Calhoun County. That’s something they hope to change this year.

“We just want to start our own streak,” said Titan head coach Jason Cunningham. “Our guys have been ready since we started two-a-days.

“I don’t think anybody needs to say anything to motivate them. They are full of confidence and passion.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com