One sure sign of the approaching high school football season came to pass this week as the members of the Alabama Sports Writers Association began making preparations for the preseason high school football poll.
I’m writing this on Monday and voting in the preseason poll was scheduled to begin yesterday (Wednesday) at 9 a.m. When it comes to casting our ballots in the poll, things have gotten high tech. We now vote via Excel spreadsheet by e-mail.
Deadline to vote is July 22 at 5 p.m. and the preseason poll will be publicly released on Aug. 3 at 11 p.m. It’ll probably hit the internet soon after that and will be in print edition newspapers the following morning.
As of today, the start of the high school season is just 43 days away. Both of our local teams, Hillcrest High School and Sparta Academy, will kick off the season on Aug. 26 with a pair of games in Evergreen. Hillcrest will play Linden at Brooks Memorial Stadium, and Sparta will play Wilcox Academy at Stuart-McGehee Field.
Technically speaking, Hillcrest will get its first taste of on-the-field action on Aug. 19 when they play a preseason game against Pickens County High School in Reform. Pickens County usually fields a pretty decent team, so this should be a good test for the Jaguars.
The start of the college football season for Alabama and Auburn is 51 days away. Alabama will play USC on Sept. 3 in Arlington, Texas while Auburn will play Clemson that same night in Auburn.
You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the opening weekend of this year’s college season, which looks to be about the best opening weekend in a long, long time. In addition to the two games already mentioned, other match-ups that weekend include LSU-Wisconsin, Ole Miss-Florida State, Texas A&M-UCLA, Georgia-North Carolina, Missouri-West Virginia, Boston College-Georgia Tech, Kansas State-Stanford, Oklahoma-Houston, Texas-Notre Dame, Arizona-BYU and Colorado-Colorado State.
The National Football League’s regular season schedule will kick off in 56 days when the Carolina Panthers play the Denver Broncos on Sept. 8 in Denver.
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SEC Media Days also began this week in Hoover, and Deatrich Wise Jr. was one of the players selected to represent the Arkansas Razorbacks at the media event.
Many of you in the reading audience will remember that Deatrich Wise Jr. is the son of former Evergreen High School football star Deatrich Wise Sr. and that he is also the grandson of former Evergreen coach Dero Wise.
After his high school and college playing days, Deatrich Wise Sr. went on to play in the NFL, and it looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to Deatrich Wise Jr., who is entering his senior season as a defensive lineman for the Razorbacks. Apparently, Deatrich Jr. is so squared-away that his coaches picked him to represent the school at Media Days and if nothing out of the ordinary happens, he’ll likely fare well in the draft next April.
For hometown football fans, we’ll have a little extra reason to pay attention during Arkansas games this season, regardless of who they’re playing.