I realize I’m assuming a lot here, but I’m desperately trying to maintain a positive outlook.
As the days pass and we draw closer to the scheduled kickoff of the 2020 high school football season, the resurgence in COVID-19 cases makes it appear less likely we’ll get anything resembling a normal season, if we get a season at all.
That would be too bad for myriad reasons, not the least is which some of the intriguing matchups that are scheduled.
As I enjoy doing every year about this time, over the next few weeks, I’ll present what I think are the top 10 games you should mark on your calendar. Let’s look at three today, and then cross your fingers that they actually get played.
Apalachee at Walnut Grove.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Why would a showdown against two programs that compiled a total of 20 wins over the past five years make a list of must-see games? Truthfully, I can’t explain it. All I know is these two teams always seem to put on a show when they meet. Two of the past three meetings have been decided by a single point, the last reaching into overtime. The fact that it’s a region game this time will only make it more interesting. Instead of just bragging rights, a postseason berth could be on the line.
George Walton at Prince Avenue.
Though it’s highly unlikely, even if these two teams entered the game winless and totally out of the region race, it’d still be worth watching. That’s because the Wolverines will be led by, depending on your favorite recruiting service, one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Brock Vandagriff. In case you missed last year’s drama, Vandagriff broke his leg three games into the season but managed to come back less than two months later, just in time to pummel the Bulldogs. The five-star recruit will be playing for the Bulldogs next year, the ones in Athens, so you’ll have a much easier time getting tickets to see the future star this season. Not saying our local Bulldogs have no chance, but it would take a major upset.
Monroe Area at Hart County.
Chances are good this showdown on the final Friday night of the regular season will be for the Region 8-AAA championship. The Hurricanes have been very good since they lured Kevin Reach out of Gwinnett County to take over the program three years ago. Hart County is experiencing its own resurgence since it nabbed Rance Gillespie in 2018, shortly after he left Valdosta after six seasons. The Hurricanes extended their winning streak over the Bulldogs to four straight last year, but the game was decided by a single touchdown, the smallest margin of victory since Monroe’s dominance began. In a newly constituted region which consists of just six teams, these two appear to be shoo-ins to make the playoffs. I’m guessing the winner of this one goes as the league’s top seed.