Opening week showdown
Friday football starts tonight with a bang with archrivals High Point Central and T.W. Andrews facing off at A.J. Simeon Stadium.
The Bison, who will be the visiting team this year, have won three of the last four and seven of the last 10 — including last year’s 17-6 win over the Red Raiders, who still lead the series overall 25-18.
This year, however, will feature many of the area’s top standouts, including a number of Division I prospects. The Bison’s Germaine Pratt (strong safety/receiver) has already committed to N.C. State, while Juwan Foggie (receiver) recently committed to UNC Charlotte.
Marquell Cartwright (running back) and Lamar Raynard (quarterback), among others on a talented Andrews team looking to compete among the top 2A teams in the state, are also drawing interest from a number of top area colleges. So, the prospect of another competitive game is certainly there.
Both teams have lost some notable pieces, as well, so this will be the first opportunity to see how some new faces fare in the stead. But the fiercely competitive rival have had plenty of time to prepare with a goal in mind — winning week 1 and gaining bragging rights.
SOUTHWEST GUILFORD AT ROCKINGHAM CO.
With new coach Eric Rainey, the Cowboys are looking to turn things around after a couple challenging seasons. The teams have split the last two following a four-year hiatus in the series. Southwest can’t change things overnight, but, after summer of hard work, a win would go a long way.
HIGH POINT CHRISTIAN AT VILLAGE CHRISTIAN
The Cougars are coming off their best season in their short history and seeking to achieve even more. They’ve had Village Christian’s number, winning all three previous meetings — including last year en route to a 3-0 start. So, this would be a good first step this season.
BISHOP McGUINNESS AT COMMUNITY SCHOOL OF DAVIDSON CHARTER
The Villains faces a very young program in NCSIAA 1A CSDC, which began as a school in 2010. So, this will be a prime opportunity for them to gain game experience where they need it and see what they will need to improve upon in their nonconference games before reaching conference play.
EAST DAVIDSON AT SOUTH DAVIDSON
The Golden Eagles and Wildcats play for the first time since 2006. With new coach Vance Hanner, East fans will see exactly what initial changes — if any — there are. And the Eagles will see what works and what doesn’t before facing former coach Bryan Lingerfelt and West Davidson next week.
GLENN AT PARKLAND
In years past, this used to be a conference game. But, with Parkland switching conferences, this matchup of Forsyth County foes becomes an early-season test for the Bobcats. They have a talented lineup, and now they’ll see how they perform against a team they know well.
WEST DAVIDSON AT LEDFORD
The Panthers have won three out of the last four against their former Central Carolina 2A Conference opponent. But they’ve been pretty close over the years. So, this will be a good chance to see how all their pieces fare against an opponent that will provide a bit of a challenge.
RAGSDALE AT GRIMSLEY
The Tigers won last year’s game, which helped them begin the season 5-0. But they couldn’t keep it going into the conference and postseason. Coming out again in week 1 and playing well against a good opponent should help set the tone for which direction they’ll take this season.
SOUTHERN GUILFORD AT EASTERN GUILFORD
The Storm have a lot of new faces to begin this season. So, this game will provide some much-needed game experience for a number of players and an opportunity to learn as they go. They get a couple nonconference games under their belts, they have the talent to compete at a high level.
THOMASVILLE AT NORTH DAVIDSON
The Bulldogs start a very challenging nonconference schedule with 4A heavyweight North Davidson. In week 3, they will face another 4A opponent in High Point Central. So, they aren’t messing around to start the season. If they fare well in games like this, then watch out come conference time.
NORTH MOORE AT TRINITY
One thing first-year coach Clayton Trivett did when he took over was tweak the schedule to include teams like 1A North Moore, which has won just three games in five years. After struggling themselves the last couple years, this is an opportunity for the Bulldogs to compete, improve and, perhaps, win.
WHEATMORE AT BARTLETT YANCEY
Under first-year coach Jason Bear Bradley, the Warriors have worked on keeping their focus locked on their next opponent. Now they’ll see how things look in week 1 against 2A Barlett Yancey before taking on Central Davidson next week in the first of back-to-back 3A games.