COLUMN: Opening week has interesting matchups

COLUMN: Opening week has interesting matchups


COLUMN: Opening week has interesting matchups


Ready or not, it’s here.

That’s right, folks: tonight is the night for the first kickoffs of the 2014 high school football season, with a scattering of games across the state.

Among the teams starting tonight is Presbyterian Christian, which travels to Biloxi to face St. Patrick in an inter-association battle of private schools.

The Bobcats are hoping this is the start of a banner campaign that sees them finally climb to the top of MAIS football.

The PCS-St. Pat game is the first of an interesting first week of games, a week that will be capped by a Saturday Night Live contest (cue the Don Pardo voiceover), featuring local rivals Petal and Hattiesburg, at D.I. Patrick Stadium.

The Panthers have owned this series in recent seasons, and they’ll be favored against this week.

Hattiesburg certainly has a lot of new faces in new places, but the word on the street is that HHS has speed to burn, though not a lot of experience.

Friday night lights

Friday night’s schedule of games will be keyed by the game that almost didn’t happen, North Forrest at Purvis. By now, most every football fan in Mississippi has heard about the fire that destroyed the school’s field house this past weekend.

It certainly could have been worse – nobody was in the building at the time of the fire, thus nobody was hurt. Nevertheless, the Tornadoes lost everything to the blaze, and there was talk that Friday’s game might have to be canceled or moved, either to Saturday or to North Forrest.

However, thanks to the generosity of other teams and various sporting goods retailers, Purvis has enough gear to practice this week and play on Friday.

Good matchups

Other interesting games on Friday will feature Bassfield at Seminary, Richton at Perry Central and Taylorsville at Collins.

Most fans don’t expect much of a game when the Yellowjackets travel to Covington County, but I have a feeling the Bulldogs will give Bassfield a good ball game.

Seminary has some key players to replace, but the Bulldogs have a workhorse back in Jamaal Booth to carry the load early in the season.

The game at New Augusta features two county rivals that should play every year, and if it’s anything like last year’s meeting, it will be a good one.

A year ago, the Rebels beat Perry Central 22-18 by stopping the Bulldogs about three inches short of the goal line as time expired.

Finally, Collins will show off what some are calling the best team the Tigers have had since the back-to-back state championship teams of 2001-02. They’ll get a stern test from the Tartars, who are one of those teams that just reloads every year.

Yep, the high school football season is here, and there aren’t many things better in this world.

Contact Stan Caldwell at (601) 584-3137.


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