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Yes, sir! It’s that time of year again

Three questions that get a “Yes.”

    Is it too hot outside?

    Do you dream of cooler weather?

    Are you ready for some football?

    YES!

    Large, ice water-soaked towels and larger canteens filled withthirst-quenching refreshment are standard fare when theMississippi  high schoolfootball season kicks off in the middle of August.

     Dang! It’s too hot forschool or football.

    Middle-agers might remember when the first day of school arrived onTuesday after Labor Day. The first football game usually kicked off on Friday of thatweek.

    In case you haven’t noticed, there are no Superdomes located in theMagnolia State. Players and coaches just get out there and sweatbuckets on the football field. It’s that way from Pascagoula toSouthaven and from Meridian to Natchez.

    No matter…folks love their football.

    Private academies, also known as Mississippi Association ofIndependent Schools members, began preseason football practice July25. The publics, or Mississippi High School Activities Associationmembers, started preseason drills Aug. 1.

    For sure, athletic trainers and coaches have taken special care tokeep their players hydrated during practice. Some schools wateredand fed their players during breaks between twice and thrice dailypreseason drills. It helps.

    Why do coaches insist on rigorous offseason workouts for theirplayers? The weightlifting and running will make them stronger,faster and more conditioned for the first day of practice.

    Still, it’s mighty tough out there. Football players sacrifice muchfor the thrill of Friday night lights. They have worked extremelyhard in preparation for the season. They don’t get paid for theirblood, sweat and tears; certainly not like the professionalsdo.

    Football fans see the finished product on Friday nights. Remember,these young warriors are teenagers. They try hard but they make mistakes, just like adults.After one bad play, they bounce back and make a good play.

     It’s supposed to be a funexperience for the players and the fans. Enjoy the moment.

    Personally, we hope every local team wins more games than theylose. It’s a wish that we hope comes true.

    

    Meanwhile, Professor Hoopla, B.S., was headed for the northern sideof Jackson Hole, Wy., where it actually snows in August. Beforeboarding a jet out of New Orleans, Hoopla e-mailed his first listof predictions for the 2011 football season. He’ll start with aThursday night special.

    Crystal Springs at Wesson:  Cobras are recognized for theirdefense as they challenge a pass-minded bunch of Tigers in Co-Lin’sStone Stadium. Wesson 22-12.

    Loyd Star at Bogue Chitto: It’s the earliest Possum Bowl on recordas a large crowd fills the Troy Smith Field bleachers Fridaynight.  In a close contest,Bogue Chitto 24-20.

    Silliman Institute at Brookhaven Academy: Tripp McCarty makes asuccessful coaching debut as the Cougars unveil an explosiveoffense. Brookhaven Academy 34-13.

    Enterprise at Salem: The Wildcats are spoilers as they welcomeCoach Casey Eubanks and his Yellow Jackets to rural WalthallCounty. Salem 19-9.

    Ethel at West Lincoln: Tigers make the long bus ride to LincolnCounty and enjoy the journey home. Ethel 16-12.

    Franklin County at North Pike: Last year’s Class 4A statechampionship runner-up is in a rebuilding mode but the Jaguars haveenough claws left to stop the Bulldogs. North Pike 33-19.

    Hazlehurst at Amite County: Indians present new head coach RandallMontgomery with a season-opening victory against the Liberty-basedTrojans. Hazlehurst 29-12.

    Copiah Academy at Oak Forest: Minus their star quarterback, theColonels are confronted with a difficult task in Amite, La. OakForest 20-10.

    Parklane at Bowling Green: Pioneers capture a defensive struggle inFranklinton, La. Parklane 10-6.

    Natchez Trinity at Jefferson County: Ambitious Saints are 2-timedefending state champions in the MAIS Class A ranks but they areambushed by the swifter Tigers in Fayette.

    Contact sports editor Tom Goetz by E-mail:tgoetz@dailyleader.com