Let the predicting begin
Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 28, 2004
It’s that time once again to dust off the crystal ball and change the batteries.
High school football season is finally here and I’ve started preparing for another year of pigskin prognosticating.
Each week during football season, I test my knowledge of the game by attempting to pick the winners of each game among local high schools. I continue to do so, while keeping track of my win/loss record and winning percentage until the last team in the area ends its season.
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Hopefully Crenshaw County schools will do well once again this year and fans will have the opportunity to witness several extra Friday night football contests.
I would like to tell my readers up front that I’m not a betting man. So picking game winners is just my way of making each week of high school football that much more interesting.
Over the past six years, I’ve come to the conclusion that my predictions do one of two things. If I choose a local team to win, it gives the players confidence going into the game. If I chose a local team to lose, it angers them and encourages them to prove me wrong.
Last year, while working in Greenville, my prediction average was fair, but nothing compares to two years ago when I predicted 84 percent correctly.
Well enough of the chit-chat.
The Luverne Tigers, coming off an 11-4 season and a runner-up finish in Class 2A, will host Opp tomorrow night at Glenn Daniel Stadium to kickoff the season.
Last year, the Tigers and first-year head coach Mike Dubose, who graduated from Opp, suffered a 24-6 loss in the opener.
This season, I believe the tables will turn.
Dubose implemented a new system when he took over at Luverne last year and the players didn’t have a good handle on it during game one. They improved each week throughout the remainder of the season and finished one game shy of the title.
The Tigers showed many strengths and revealed some weaknesses during their preseason win over Greenville last Thursday, but I believe with Dubose and his coaching staff’s experience Luverne will give Opp fits.
Penalties and play calling will be critical.
Prestridge’s Pick: Luverne.
Dominating best describes the Brantley Bulldogs last year.
The Class 1A power advanced to the quarterfinals last season only to suffer a close 28-27 loss to American Christian.
I believe the Bulldogs will once again be strong this season thanks in part to a good coaching staff and a history of exceptional athletes.
Brantley may not finish the regular season 10-0, but the playoffs should be guaranteed.
Class 2A Elba will visit the Bulldogs tomorrow night to kickoff the season. As long as some of the younger players on Brantley’s roster will step up and play smart, the Bulldogs should start off the season undefeated once again.
Prestridge’s Pick: Brantley.
Highland Home will travel to Troy to take on Class 5A powerhouse Charles Henderson Friday night.
The Flying Squadron finished 7-4 last season after being knocked out of the Class 2A state playoffs. I believe they will do well again this season under new head coach Bob Farrior.
Playing such a powerhouse the first game will prepare the Squadron to compete against some of the hardest competition in 2A later on during the season.
It will be a tough game for Highland Home to win, but it will be good preparation for key region games to come.
Prestridge’s Pick: Charles Henderson.
Lakeside will be Crenshaw Christian’s first test of the season as the Cougars hit the road Friday night.
The Cougars finished below .500 last season in Class AA with a 4-6 record, but showed a lot of promise for this year. To make matters better, CCA dropped down to Class A, which should help them be a lot more competitive.
Lakeside advanced to the semi-finals last season and have a lot of talent returning this year. Even though the Cougars dropped classifications, Lakeside should be a really tough opponent that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Fans should expect an exciting game that could come down to the final minutes of the contest.
This should be a close one.
Prestridge’s Pick: Lakeside.
Adam Prestridge is editor of
The Luverne Journal. He can be reached at 334-335-3541 or by e-mail: adam.prestridge@luverne journal.com