Planning out my Fridays
It was time.
I couldn’t wait any longer.
I had to know.
What would my Friday nights look like for the next few months?
Jamborees start next week and I’ll stop by Whitewater hosting East Coweta on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Starr’s Mill hosting Pebblebrook on Friday at 7:30 p.m. I’m there mainly to grab some pictures for the Football Preview (it hits the streets, Aug. 27) and to see what the starters look like. Things take a decidedly slower turn in the second half and neither coach really wants to show much of anything anyway.
There is nothing but sitting by a pool in my plans for Aug. 20, the last Friday night I have off until...Christmas, maybe.
Aug. 27 - Whitewater hosts Sandy Creek. Right off the bat, football fans in Fayette County are greeted with what could be one of the best games of the season. Sandy Creek won the Class AAAA state championship last year and Whitewater hopes to be improved from last year and give the Patriots a good game. I hope to have our awesome freelance photographer Stan (www.kidzsportsphotography.com) shooting this one so I can keep better notes and just watch this one.
Sept. 3 - Fayette County vs. Union Grove - I feel like the Tigers were improved last year and this should be another season where they take a step forward. Union Grove is going to be tough but this should serve as a litmus test for where exactly Fayette stands this season.
Sept. 10 - McIntosh vs. Jones County - The Chiefs have started the season off well under Coach Glenn Griffin (5-3 combined over their first eight games in the last two years) and like Fayette’s game the week before, this game could tell us a lot about what to expect from the Chiefs this season. Jones County is coached by former McIntosh coach Dwight Jones.
Sept. 17 - Landmark Christian vs. Our Lady of Mercy - This is typically the only game featuring these two teams that I can get to during a season and this one should be good. Former Starr’s Mill coach Mike Earwood is now at the helm of the OLM program and this is his first foray into this rivalry game. OLM has never defeated Landmark, which is a perennial playoff team and always a serious contender for a region title. I hope Oz Pizza is re-opened in Fairburn by then.
Sept. 24 - Whitewater vs. Starr’s Mill - Another big rivalry game and some of these past match-ups have been classics. There is no love lost between these two teams and both would love to have the bragging rights that a win would bring. This could also factor significantly into the teams chances in making the state playoffs.
Oct. 1 - Sandy Creek vs. Eastside - While Sandy Creek won a state title in 2009, Eastside just missed playing for the AAA title by falling to Peach County 21-14 in the semis. This is a region game and will be very important if either of these schools are to seriously contend for a state title.
Oct. 8 - Fayette County vs. Whitewater - It seems like Whitewater is a big rival for all of the Fayette County schools and this should be a fun game to watch. Ultimately, it’s going to come down to two things for Fayette if they hope to win, slow down the Wildcats' running game, which figures to be impressive, and generating some offense against Whitewater’s typically stingy defense.
Oct. 15 - Whitewater vs. McIntosh - The Chiefs have never defeated the Wildcats on the gridiron and Whitewater’s going to try and keep it that way - especially since it will be their homecoming night. (I’ll be sure to have a book on my Kindle for the long halftime ceremony)
Oct. 22 - Sandy Creek vs. Spalding - Another potentially big region game for the Patriots. The Jaguars expect to be better than last year (5-6) and let's face it, everyone’s bringing their ‘A’ game this year when they face the state champs.
Oct. 29 - Sandy Creek vs. Fayette County - It won’t factor into region standings, but both teams are going to want this one. The Tigers remember 2008 when the Patriots eked out a 3-0 win in a super sloppy game on a mud bowl of a field. They know what almost was and what can be this year with a great effort. The Patriots will be looking to finish strong and hopefully securing a good seeding in the AAA state playoffs.
Nov. 5 - It’s up in the air. This is the week for region playoffs, so I will likely be at whatever game is closest to home. Stan, who will be shooting somewhere different from me every week but the first, will probably be at East Coweta vs. Newnan that night. It’s a rivalry game and Stan, a Coweta resident, loves that match.
Now, let me send out my annual plea for help. Obviously, as you can see, there are lots of games that I won’t be attending. If you are a student that goes to all of your team’s games (home and away), or a parent, booster or band parent and would like to join the network of people sending in scores to me, you will have my undying gratitude (as well as my cell #, lucky you). This worked out great last year with lots of people stepping up and helping. They would send me a text each time the score changed - with the player who scored and how - and I would update it to The Citizen Sport’s twitter account (www.twitter.com/citizensport). Not only did the people who followed me get updates, but people could also have The Citizen Sports web site up (www.thecitizensports.com) and watch the tweets come in in a box at the top of the page. You could literally follow all of the games featuring local teams every Friday night.
I can’t do it alone and I need help, so please, if you can join my network of helpers, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though it’s hot enough to fry an egg out there right now, I am looking forward to the 2010 football (and all other high school athletics, too, I guess) season. (If that didn’t sound genuine, it’s because when I was growing up school didn’t start until after Labor Day and summer wasn’t “over” the second week of August -but that’s another column for another day).