With less than three weeks before the high school football season kicks off in Kentucky, it’s time to take a look at the top games involving Louisville-area teams to watch on a week-by-week basis.
Obviously, as the season progresses, the top games could change. But here’s a good guess on what The Courier-Journal’s Games of the Week will be this season:
* Week 1 (Aug. 19) – Fairdale at DeSales. Both teams are coming off winning seasons, but that’s not the No. 1 story line for this one. This will mark the first-ever home game for the Colts as their new on-campus stadium makes its debut. Other top matchups: Manual at Central, Simon Kenton at Christian Academy, Anderson County at South Oldham, Trinity at Ensworth (Tenn.).
* Week 2 (Aug. 26) – Fern Creek at Manual. Both teams have some question marks entering this season, and this one will provide a good indication of which is further along in its progress. Other top matchups: South Oldham at Doss, St. Xavier at Lexington Catholic, Brentwood (Tenn.) at Trinity, Ballard at Male.
* Week 3 (Sept. 2) – Trinity at Lafayette. There may not be more high-level talent on the field in Kentucky all season. Shamrocks ripped the Generals 70-14 last season. Other top matchups: DeSales at Ballard, Central at Christian Academy, St. Xavier at Bowling Green.
* Week 4 (Sept. 9) – Male at Trinity. The Bulldogs are 5-1 against the Shamrocks over the past three seasons but lost 20 of 22 starters from last season. Trinity likely will enter the season as the No. 1 team in Class 6-A. Other top matchups: Central at St. Xavier, DeSales at Holy Cross, North Oldham at South Oldham.
* Week 5 (Sept. 16) – Highlands at St. Xavier. A battle of tradition-rich programs that have won a combined 35 state titles (Highlands with 23, St. X with 12). Other top matchups: Manual at Ballard, Fern Creek at DeSales, Doss at Butler.
* Week 6 (Sept. 23) – Waggener at Central. The Yellowjackets have dominated their Class 3-A district since the expansion to six classes in 2007, but the Wildcats have the talent to make a run this season. Other top matchups: Bullitt Central at North Bullitt, Spencer County at Collins.
* Week 7 (Sept. 30) – St. Xavier vs. Trinity (at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium). Seriously, what other game is going to go in this spot? Other top matchups: Male at Pleasure Ridge Park (Sept. 29), Bullitt East at Bullitt Central.
* Week 8 (Oct. 7) – Christian Academy at DeSales. One of the most underrated rivalries in Kentucky. Other top matchups: Butler at Pleasure Ridge Park, Fern Creek at Doss, Holy Cross at Kentucky Country Day, Manual at St. Xavier.
* Week 9 (Oct. 14) – St. Xavier at Male. Bulldogs have won four straight meetings in this series, but the Tigers are expecting to have a big season. Other top matchups: Central at Bardstown, Pleasure Ridge Park at Manual.
* Week 10 (Oct. 21) – Manual at Male. It will be meeting No. 135 in the Old Rivalry. Other top matchups: Ballard at Trinity, St. Xavier at Butler, Shelby County at Collins.
* Week 11 (Oct. 28) – South Oldham at Shelby County. Who knows which games will be interesting by this point of the season, but this one has the potential to be a good one. Other top matchups: Ballard at Doss, Central at Pleasure Ridge Park, Anderson County at Collins, St. Xavier at Cincinnati St. Xavier.