If you can’t find something to do Friday night, odds are you’re not trying — or you’re not a football fan.
Three of the county’s four public high schools will play on their own fields, one of only two weeks this season where that’s the case.
For West Forsyth, South Forsyth and Forsyth Central, all three teams opened up on the road a week ago, so this marks the first opportunity to play on home fields newly resurfaced with artificial turf.
Central opens a nine-game region schedule at home, welcoming another pack of Bulldogs from Lithonia, in DeKalb County. Lithonia didn’t win a game last year, but comes in off a big win in its opening game over Avondale.
Forsyth’s Dawgs will look to bounce back from a tough loss in Fayette County last week, in which they managed only one touchdown against McIntosh.
Coach Chris Bennett said some players came in on Sunday to watch film and prepare for the Region 6-AAAA opener, against a Lithonia team that Bennett says is speedy and dangerous in open space.
“As much as you hate to lose, the real season starts this week. Our kids have been fine. They’ve worked their tails off this week, and I think that’s all we can ask for as coaches,” Bennett said.
West is looking to start 2-0 in its first varsity season, welcoming Class AA Adairsville from Bartow County to town for the first varsity game on the Wolverines’ own field.
“They have many skilled athletes,” West coach Frank Hepler said of the Tigers earlier this week.
“We will have to put last week’s win behind us and get ready to play Friday.”
For South, a disappointing opener in Alpharetta gets followed up with a visit from another “South” — the Comets of
South Gwinnett. As former Berkmar head coach, War Eagles’ coach Wendell Early knows the Region 8-AAAAA Comets well and doesn’t expect to be easy.
“South Gwinnett is very comparable to Alpharetta in size and team speed, maybe better. They certainly have more tradition and more experience,” he said.
The county’s only road warriors this week are the Raiders from North Forsyth, who head east to face Johnson in Oakwood.
The Raiders will try to shake off a tough home loss to West Forsyth in the season opener. Coach Jared Zito says that he hopes the result will serve as motivation for the team moving ahead.
“We came out Monday and tried to correct our mistakes from a mental standpoint and also approach our practice habits a little different,” Zito said.