Ladies and gentlemen, we made it. We once again fought through the wilderness of golf outings, Snappers games and complex baseball to another year of prep sports. IT feels good, doesn't it? It really does.
Let's talk week one, shall we?
• BELOIT MEMORIAL at JANESVILLE CRAIG: The Purple Knights begin the Ken DuBose era this evening against what should be a pretty average Craig team. I honestly don't have any idea what to expect here. I know that DuBose has a unique demeanor and a unique way to address his team. I know that Beloit has some really good athletes. I have no idea if they have enough to win in the Big Eight. Tonight will be a good measuring stick against a team that certainly isn't projected to be elite.
While I'm not bold enough to predict a Purple Knights victory, I'm hoping they can put up a competitive fight and give some much-needed hope to the upcoming season.
CRAIG 28, BELOIT MEMORIAL 20
• BELOIT TURNER at WHITEWATER: OK, a confession: Every fall after I have my preseason conversation with coach Derek Diehl, I come away feeling like Turner is going 8-1 at worst. Again this season, it appears as though the Trojans have a lot of key pieces in place to have an outstanding season. So can they avoid things like injuries, poor chemistry, the Juul?
I went to a Turner practice and came away extremely impressed with the attitude and energy the team had. Then again, adversity hadn't hit yet. And, like every team, it will. How will they respond? Turner gets off to a fast start every season, and this year will be no different. Trojans roll tonight.
TURNER 42, WHITEWATER 12.
• EVANSVILLE at BRODHEAD-JUDA: Who's ready for a run and gun, pass all day, spread em out and see what happens Cardinals offense? Woo!
OK, that's probably a bit of an exaggeration. But the Cards will throw it more this season,a nd tonight would be a great time to break out that offense.
Evansville didn't win a game last year, but they should be improved this season. I like the Cards here.
BRODHEAD-JUDA 35, EVANSVILLE 20
• JEFFERSON at BIG FOOT (kinda): This was supposed to be the unveiling of the new Big Foot field, but weather delays led to construction delays which led to welcome to Delavan, Chiefs! It's a bummer, but let's hope that field is ready for week three.
The Chiefs have their maiden voyage under coach Welden, but I've long considered that Big Foot staff, with guys like Michael Dowden and Greg Lueck, to be one of the best around. Add in Collin Frederick, and you're really cooking.
But the Chiefs face a big challenge this evening. Jefferson is tough, and Big Foot is inexperienced in some key spots.
JEFFERSON 31 BIG FOOT 21
• CLINTON at EAST TROY: Tough way for the Cougars to start the season. I think this Clinton team will be improved over last year's 3-6 squad. Playoff good? No idea. A few bounces either way will make the difference for the Cougars.
EAST TROY 21, CLINTON 14.