Long-awaited football season finally arrives

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 28, 2008

The long-awaited 2008 football season has finally arrived. Thosenew uniforms look sharp. The players and coaches are pumped up andready to play.

Moms and dads, grandfathers and grandmothers, aunts and uncles,brothers and sisters, plus girl friends; will be seated in thebleachers or standing up, closely watching as the players come onthe field.

“Hey. There’s Bubba. That’s my boy.”

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The proud father thinks to himself. “He sure looks big withthose shoulder pads and helmet. Hope he has a good year. Hope hedoesn’t get hurt. Hope he beats those other guys.”

Such is life in small town Mississippi where football isworshipped on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Then thearmchair quarterbacks take over for the remaining three days. Theysecond-guess the coaches and players before it starts all overagain.

There are sky-high hopes on both sides of the field. Mostplayers will tell you they want to make the state playoffs and wina championship. Others have more modest goals.

Probably the best quote of the preseason came from big seniortackle Joseph Howard (6-4, 300) of West Lincoln. “We would like towin four or five games. It would be like winning the SuperBowl.”

You have to admire Joseph and his twin brother Josh. There havebeen few victories to celebrate in their high school careers. TheBears were winless in 11 games last season. They are saddled with a15-game losing streak.

We wish them all the best this season, especially the young menfrom West Lincoln who are in desperate need of a victory. Sooner orlater, all of that hard work should be rewarded. Make sure tosupport your favorite team.

Professor Hoopla B.S. has been known to closely follow all thelocal teams through the season. He is notorious for hisprognosticating skills. However, no matter what happens on Fridaynight, the sun is going to rise Saturday morning. Win or lose, itis a brand new day.

There are three Thursday night specials for Hoopla to considerthis week. He’ll start there and continue with Friday and Saturdaypicks.

Enterprise at West Lincoln: New coaches and newattitudes debut tonight on Harry L. Cole Field as the FightingYellow Jackets win their opener for Coach Wayne Rogers. Enterprise21-7.

Co-Lin at East Mississippi: Becoming moreoffensive, the Wolfpack finds a road victory in picturesque Scooba.Co-Lin 17-10.

Mississippi Delta at Southwest: Bears begintheir season on the right foot in Hurst Stadium. Southwest19-7.

North Pike at Brookhaven: Panthers make thebest of a rebuilding effort with a King Field triumph. Brookhaven17-12.

Brookhaven Academy at Oak Forest: Cougars willhave their hands full in Amite, La. Brookhaven Academy 30-22.

Bogue Chitto at St. Aloysius: Looks like anoffensive show in Vicksburg. Bogue Chitto 34-26.

Loyd Star at J.J. McClain: After a long ride tothe Delta, the Hornets cruise to a season-opening win. Loyd Star26-18.

Wesson at Prentiss: Cobras survive the hazards of playing on theroad. Wesson 18-12.

Hazlehurst at Franklin County: This is the gameof the week as two new head coaches showcase their talented teamsin Meadville. Franklin County 38-24.

Lawrence County at Petal: Panthers author anambush on a wet Friday night. Petal 21-20.

Copiah Academy at Leake Academy: Colonels willget better as the season progresses. Leake 27-12.

South Pike at McComb: A big rivalry and a bigcrowd kick off a hard-hitting contest in C.C. Moore Stadium. McComb16-14.

Parklane at Centreville Academy: Pioneersdisplayed some offensive power in their season opener but theTigers have a bigger bite. Centreville 32-20.

Crystal Springs at Port Gibson: Senior-ladenTigers are going to spoil Coach Willie Brown’s coaching debut.Crystal Springs 19-6.

Here’s a preview of Saturday’s collegiate games across theMagnolia State.

Memphis at Ole Miss: Anticipation is sky-highin Oxford as the Houston Nutt era begins. Ole Miss 21-10.

Mississippi State at Louisiana Tech: There’splenty of offense in Ruston, La. State 28-14.

Louisiana-Lafayette at Southern Miss: Win orlose, the Golden Eagles are going to be more exciting under theleadership of Larry Fedora. Southern Miss 30-20.

In other action, McNeese State will ambushDelta State 28-21; West Alabama will whip Belhaven 42-19, SoutheastLouisiana will blast Alcorn State 38-12 and in a Sunday afternoonspecial, Jackson State will dump Hampton 30-16 in Orlando, Fla.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 39602, or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com