August 27, 2017 8:04:54 PM
We have finally made it to game week.
Regular-season play opens up this weekend for members in both the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) and Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS).
Can't wait to see what type of year our veteran players put together. Also can't wait to see what new faces burst onto the scene and become household names by season's end.
Now without further delay, here is what is going down in Week 1:
Columbus at West Point
This annual rivalry is renewed Thursday night at Hamblin Stadium.
West Point will return seven starters on offense and nine starters on defense. Yes, the Green Wave will be an odds-on favorite to win the Class 5A state championship. However, West Point has been known to start a new season slow.
On the other hand, Columbus takes the field after losing 21 players to graduation. The Falcons will have plenty of new faces on offense. The biggest challenge will be replacing the leadership of quarterback C.J. Gholar and production of running back Kylin Hill.
There will be several great days to be a Falcon in the future. This is not one of them.
West Point 28, Columbus 7
Starkville at Noxubee County
The marquee matchup of the opening week takes place in Macon. Noxubee County and Starkville again try to provide good drama.
Coach Chris Jones' Starkville squad turned heads with a dominating performance against Louisville in the New Hope Jamboree. There is little doubt that Starkville will have the best defense in Class 6A. The question is how quickly will the offense come along.
Noxubee County is wanting a Class 4A state championship. Last season, the Tigers won nine games. Noxubee County was beaten in the third round of the playoffs. Almost everybody is back from that team.
Noxubee County will get a big test here on opening night. Let's see if they pass.
Starkville 28, Noxubee County 20
Caledonia at West Lowndes
Lowndes County rivals meet Friday night at West Lowndes. It is the coaching debut of Ricky Kendrick, who will begin his second stint as head man at Caledonia.
Not only did Caledonia have coaching change but the Confederates lost almost all their production on offense. The defense returns some veterans. However, that unit has some deficiencies to address from a year ago.
West Lowndes is placing its hopes on a deep and talented offensive line. The Panthers must move the ball with authority to compete in Class 1A. There are some pieces there. We will see how quickly it comes together.
When Class 1A plays Class 4A, it normally comes to depth. West Lowndes will have to play well and catch some breaks.
Caledonia 21, West Lowndes 12
New Hope 24, Forest 21 ... Louisville 34, Holmes Central 0 ... Aberdeen 42, Bruce 0 ... Hamilton 42, Coldwater 0 ... DeSoto Central 21, Amory 14 ... East Webster 14, Choctaw County 0 ... Heritage Academy 34, Kirk Academy 12 ... Lamar School 27, Starkville Academy 20 ... Newton County Academy 21, Winston Academy 0 ... Oak Hill Academy 24, Deer Creek School 6 ... Porter's Chapel 24, Columbus Christian 12 ... Victory Christian 54, Meadowview Christian 12