August 10, 2011
Just when you thought it was safe to read these reader blogs on thepilot.com, well, guess what??? I'm back!!! And, I thought I'd throw in a few changes and "wrinkles" here and there. More about that later.
I eventually decided to come back and do another season of high school football predictions. One could say that I "went into hibernation" after the 2010 football season ended. But, for some reason, one could also say that maybe I had "writer's block." Yes, I do keep up with other sports besides football, but, my knowledge of other sports whether it be high school, college or pro, pales compare to my knowledge and interest of high school football. Seems there's something really special about those Friday night lights when the school year is about to begin on up to when Daylight Saving Time ends in November.
Other than that, you could say August is my favorite time of the year, even though I am NOT too crazy about all this oppressive heat! However, I am ready to see what the 2011 season has too offer. All three Moore County high school teams have been hard at work preparing for the season.
I think there are two big things that folks will notice this year, and both involve schedules.. First, new opponents on non-conference schedules. This is the first year of two-year contracts that schools sign with each other. Pinecrest has kicked up their non-conference schedule a notch or two. Union Pines has done likewise. I know PC and UP will not be playing for a while because of last year's "brawl," but I hope the series will return someday. Finally, in terms of non-conference scheduling, North Moore certainly helped themselves by dropping Jordan-Matthews and Southwestern Randolph.
Second, the biggest change regarding schedules is teams will have eleven weeks to play eleven games instead of twelve weeks as in seasons past. This season, teams had a hard enough time trying to schedule ten games much less eleven. Eleven games in eleven weeks does not give folks a chance to have a week of rest and heal from injuries. Also, this really hurts teams with low numbers of players trying to make it through the season.
Usually teams play ten games plus an "endowment game". An endowment game is a non-conference game which some of the gate is given to the N.C. High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Endowmernt Fund. But, it seems like some of the basketball and wrestling folks have complained about football season running way too long into their seasons, thus, the move to an eleven week regular season schedule. Also, last year, the Shrine Bowl was held on the same day that the NCHSAA was having its football state championships, thus, players who were picked for the N.C. Shrine Bowl team that were involved in state title games had to miss the Shrine Bowl game. This year, the Shrine Bowl game will be played on the week after the NCHSAA football state title games.
Coming soon, I will soon have regular season predictions for all three Moore County teams and their conference counterparts in the Yadkin Valley 1A, Cape Fear Valley 3A and Southeastern 4A conferences. I have a feeling that after folks check out my predictions, I am sure lots of folks are gonna be really mad at me. My predictions do not look good for NM, UP and PC. But hopefully, these teams will prove me wrong!