It's the opening weekend for the high school football season and once again, the Rivals.com team of college and high school publishers as well as site, regional and national analysts are hitting the road to be on the sidelines of some of the best games in the nation.
Keith Niebuhr, the Southeast Analyst for Rivals.com, says he's looking forward to Saturday's quadruple-header at the Georgia Dome.
"In a word: Wow," he said. "In one setting, we'll get to see more than two dozen major college prospects Saturday."
For other writers, like Ben Doster of TarHeelIllustrated.com, Friday night will be a first chance to get on the sidelines.
"This is my first-ever Friday night covering high school football for the Rivals.com network," said Doster, who will be attending the battle between East Forsyth and West Forsyth in North Carolina. "I'm excited to check out three-star defensive end Alex McCallister in this battle of intracounty rivals."
No matter the experience, the excitement is there.
How could it not be? It's the first week of high school football season.
With that, a look at all the sidelines we'll be covering this weekend:
No. 8 Batesville (Miss.) South Panola 37, West Point (Miss.) High 17
BulldawgJunction.com: Logan Lowery Saturday: It's a showdown between the defending Class 6A and 5A
state champions the past two seasons. South Panola, the defending
RivalsHigh 100 national champion, has a strong defense led by Ole Miss
commits Issac Gross and Temario Strong as well as 2013 star Antonio Connor. West Point is replacing several stars but should have a strong rushing attack paved by 2013 fullback Mario Virges.
No. 9 Louisville (Ky.) Trinity 45, Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy 7
RivalsHigh.com: Dallas Jackson, Senior Analyst
Friday: One of the highest ranked teams in the country will be leaving its state to start the season. Seeing how the team has grown from the semifinals of the playoffs in 2010 - the last time we evaluated the Shamrocks in person - to the start of 2011 will be a good guage. Brentwood Academy is expected to be a little down from its normal standards but it is pretty well stocked with young talent. How those in the sophomore class can hold up will spell out how competitive
BA will be.
From the game:Instant analysis: Trinity passes first test
No. 42 Loganville (Ga.) Grayson 7, Marietta (Ga.) Kell 0
Kipp Adams (@KippLAdams)
Friday: Rivals100 prospect Josh Harvey-Clemons may play wide
receiver, quarterback, safety, kick returner and punt returner all in
this game. How will 2013 standout prospect Reginald Carter transition
from defensive end at Stephenson to linebacker at South Gwinnett?
Petal (Miss.) High 21, Waynesboro (Miss.) Wayne County 14
MagnoliaPreps.com: Josh Smith Saturday: The MagnoliaPreps.com Game of the Week features two of the state's best teams. Wayne County is ranked eighth while Petal is No. 11 and features the state's top prospect in Anthony Alford.
Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern 26, Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett 17
Rivals.com: Keith Niebuhr, Southeast Analyst
Rivals.com: Nick Krueger, AMP Videographer UGASports.com:
Kipp Adams (@KippLAdams)
Saturday: McEachern was named among the 10 teams that just missed being ranked in the initial RivalsHigh 100 ranking. The team has had success in the past, but lost a lot of talent on defense. North Gwinnett has become a namebrand for high school football in Georgia. Quarterback Scotty Hosch, who shared time under center last year with C.J. Uzomah, takes over the offense full-time this season.
ArizonaVarsity.com: Jon Perryman Friday: This is the first game of the season in Arizona, and Desert Vista is ranked No. 8 in the state in the preseason, regardless of Division. Arizona starts a newly formed six division format with three sections in each division for the 2011 season. Desert Vista and cross-town rival Mountain Pointe both made the early preseason poll. Desert Vista will need a convincing win to start the season.
From the game:Game blog