Well, this time of year the first half lights usually involve the sun but headlines aside high school football is back.
Ludington at Fremont
Ok maybe no playoffs again last season, but the Pack got off the schneid with a win that snapped a brutal 30 game skid.
And the defense was better. Much better.
They nearly beat Tri County and gave the playoff bound Ramblers of McBain fits before falling short.
Ludington graduated a bunch of starters including qb Garrett Meeker who was tough to contain last season.
The Pack has Cody Andree back to run the wing T offense and Kyler Kolk centering an offensive line that will need to provide protection if the team is to put points on the board
The last time Fremont saw the Orioles was in 2015 their final season in the Lakes 8. They lost but they put up 26 points. One more than they scored in all of 2016.
This would be a sweet game to win with a trip to Reed City looming as the conference opener next week but it’s not likely to be an easy one.
Grant at Shelby
The Tiger/Tiger matchup has gone the way of Grant the past few years as Shelby's football fortunes have faded with a lone win over the past 40 contests.
The Tigers (Grant version) had a lot of youth on the field last season and sometimes gave up big plays that led to one heartbreaking loss and a couple of games that got away from them.
Grant is a good team but needs to be careful in this one. In last season’s opener it took them awhile to show up in squeaking out a win at home over the visiting Tigers and this one’s on the road.
Holton at Hart
Got to say, it is never boring in Red Devil country.
Last season the Devs were on a roll and heading for the playoffs when a 3 game losing skid to end the season nearly shattered the dream. Lo and behold Jack Nummerdor’s squad squeaked in and took the town on a raucous run to the playoff semifinals in their coach’s final season at the helm.
A new coach was named but resigned shortly thereafter and now Mike Jados has taken the helm. Jados serves as defensive coordinator last season when the playoff run took place and ironically was on the coaching staff the previous time the Red Devils landed in the postseason in 2007.
We’ve heard Hart has a bit of talent this season particularly on the line. Holton lost some inspirational payers who produced during that playoff run so this is a transformed team in many ways. Getting back Drew Trystad and Kaleb Kitchka helps a lot.
If Holton is going to be successful they need this one to get them rolling. The Pirates conference schedule (also WMC) is certainly no picnic so they would love to tack on an early win at home.
Kent City at Newaygo
Gio Weeks and John Meeks are no longer in the Eagle backfield.
Connor Swinehart is no longer under center for the Lions and Noah Graff is on the gridiron at Hope toiling for the Dutchmen.
A host of other starters from both teams have departed from graduation so the opener looks to provide a lot of answers. And likely a few questions as well.
Last year the Lions went into Eagle country and in a game marked by early season mistakes came home saddled with a loss.
A loss that ended a 9 game winning streak over Kent City dating back to 1992 when the teams toiled in the NCAA.
The Lions are home this time and the Gold/Silver matchup should be a good one.
North Muskegon at Hesperia
How much help can Logan Balkema get? The qb who also plays linebacker on defense is a stalwart for Rick Tank’s squad but last season he was often harassed in the backfield and the Panthers struggled to score against teams possessing a defense.
A tough opener even at home. The Norsemen graduated some key players but they have built a program that has made the playoffs twice in a row despite playing in the always rugged West Michigan Conference.