August 19, 2014 8:10:32 PM
Week One Prep Predictions....
Noxubee County at Starkville
There is little doubt the most intriguing matchup of the opening week will take place on the brand new turf at Starkville High School.
Starkville is considered a favorite in Class 6A, while Noxubee County is considered a favorite in Class 4A.
Both teams' defenses were dominant a year ago. Starkville won a defensive struggle 17-0 in the season opener for each team.
This season both team's offensive units are expected to be much improved. Both SHS coach Jamie Mitchell and NCHS coach Tyrone Shorter have called their two respective receiving units the best they have ever coached.
Thus the matchup appears to be two powerful passing games against two stellar defensive lines.
In the end, speed could be the difference. Plus the Jackets are a little more veteran in the secondary.
Starkville 21, Noxubee County 7
Heritage Academy at Caledonia (Thursday)
Caledonia generated a lot of positive momentum when it opened the season with a 32-0 shutout of West Lowndes in the West Lowndes Jamboree Friday night.
The Feds lost their confidence midway through last season and struggled mightily to get it back. We will see how forward the positive momentum goes this season.
Heritage Academy won the MAIS Class AAA, Division II state championship in 2012 and followed that up with a very nice run in 2013. The Patriots will new in some areas but they do have a large majority of their skill players back. The challenge will be to build on the offensive consistency from last year's team.
Heritage Academy 28, Caledonia 13
Grenada at West Point
Grenada emerged as one of Class 6A's biggest surprises last season. The Chargers finished 9-3 and qualified for the playoffs. The good news for West Point is a lot of the offensive firepower from that team is lost. However, the defense remains intact.
We know the drill by now on West Point. The Green Wave has some talented offensive pieces but need to find out who to put where. The defense should be much improved. It will have to be for West Point to contend with Oxford in Class 5A.
West Point 22, Grenada 14
Montgomery County at West Lowndes
West Lowndes opened last season on a positive note with a convincing win over Montgomery County. The Panthers should have little trouble repeating that feat.
West Lowndes 34, Montgomery County 0
Aberdeen at Shannon
Even though Aberdeen is young, don't sleep on the Bulldogs. Shannon managed only four wins last season, including a turnover-plagued victory in this series. Look for the youthful Bulldogs to make some mistakes but to make some big plays as well.
Aberdeen 28, Shannon 21
Hamilton at Potts Camp
Hamilton looks to build on last season's success. The Lions should have no problem staring off on a positive note.
Hamilton 34, Potts Camp 0
Jim Hill at Louisville
Louisville will be hard-pressed to repeat last season's 16-0 run to the Class 3A state championship. The Wildcats will not be hard-pressed to start 1-0.
Louisville 44, Jim Hill 6
Lamar School at Starkville Academy
Enthusiasm has returned to the Starkville Academy campus. The Volunteers return 15 starters. Lamar will provide a huge challenge in week one. With some hesitance, let's say the Volunteers pass it.
Starkville Academy 21, Lamar School 20
Oak Hill Academy at Hartfield Academy
Oak Hill Academy makes its debut under new coach Tony Stanford. It's a safe bet Stanford has been on campus long enough to call running players for a Riley (either Drake or Drew).
Oak Hill Academy 42, Hartfield Academy 0
Columbus Christian at Delta Academy
Columbus Christian also begins a season full of huge hopes by traveling to Delta Academy. Coach Greg Watkins feels like added depth will give him a more complete team this season. The Rams will certainly be complete enough on this night.
Columbus Christian 34, Delta Academy 6
Hebron Christian at Victory Christian
The area's most under rated game of week one will take place at Victory Christian. The homestanding Eagles have been waiting on this moment when an ultra-talented senior class plays its final snaps together.
Victory Christian 20, Hebron Christian 18
Elsewhere ... Winston Academy 21, Sylva-Bay Academy 20 ... Aliceville 24, Bryant 23 ... Lamar County 34, South Lamar 14 ... Pickens County 42, Addison 0 ... Hale County 34, Sulligent 6
5. A Stone's Throw: Beware COLUMNS