The week that many of us have been waiting for has finally arrived.
Week 1 of the high school football season is here and it is long overdue.
While teams were able to play a shortened 6-game schedule this past spring, there was nothing to play for at the end of it all.
No section championships. No state playoffs. No trips to the Carrier Dome Thanksgiving weekend.
However, that all changes starting this week as all those things will be up for grabs at the end of a full slate of games.
Now, there’s still a lot to play out before we get to that point, so let’s start with a look at who’s playing week 1.
Friday night is absolutely jam-packed with games, all starting at 7.
Some really intriguing match-ups as well, highlighted by a cross-class battle between Chenango Forks and Maine-Endwell. That one will be at M-E. Forks beat the Spartans 35-12 this spring.
Another game that has potential to be a lot of fun is Johnson City and Union-Endicott.
Talking with both head coaches this preseason, they both say they have explosive players all across the field.
So, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a shoot out at Ty Cobb Stadium.
Some out-of-section games as well Friday as Bainbridge-Guilford hosts Beaver River of Section III.
Norwich hosts Section II’s Johnstown.
And Windsor picks up Section III Mexico after losing their initial week 1 opponent.
More on that a little later.
Vestal and Horseheads meet in what is an important Class A showdown early on.
And what should be an intense game in Class D as Sidney welcomes in the 3-time defending section champions, Tioga.
Then, on Saturday, another big Class D meeting as Newark Valley hosts Harpursville/Afton at 1:30 PM.
Binghamton will look to get out to a fast start under new head coach Doug Stento as they head to Elmira.
That one also at 1:30 PM.
Lastly, the 2-time reigning Class C state champs, Susquehanna Valley, begin their quest for number 3 as they head to Dryden for a 7 PM kick off.
As mentioned, Windsor was forced to find another opponent for week 1 as their initial one, Whitney Point, announced last week that they would not be fielding an 11-player team this year, but rather playing at the 8-player level instead.
So, that left Windsor, and others scrambling to fill in those slots.
Here’s what they came up with to this point.
As mentioned, Windsor gets Mexico week 1.
In week 2, Deposit/Hancock has left that day open.
Chenango Valley has added a game against Dryden in week 3.
Week 4 now has Waverly adding a road game at Ithaca.
Watkins Glen has left week 5 open.
Chenango Forks has also added Ithaca. That will be a home game for Forks in week 6.
Harpursville/Afton added a road game at Section III’s Waterville in week 7.
And in week 8, Dryden has an open weekend.