The high school football season is still a couple months away, but it’s never too early to look ahead. The Forsyth County News sports department will break down one team’s schedule each day, ending today with West Forsyth.
Date Opponent (2012)
Aug. 30 vs. Gainesville (12-3)
Sept. 6 vs. Flowery Branch (8-3)
Sept. 13 at Starr’s Mill (3-7)
Sept. 20 vs. Alpharetta (7-4)
Sept. 27 at Centennial (3-7)
Oct. 4 Bye
Oct. 11 at Johns Creek (8-3)
Oct. 18 vs. North Forsyth (3-7)
Oct. 25 vs. Chattahoochee (7-4)
Nov. 1 at South Forsyth (4-6)
Nov. 8 vs. Lambert (5-5)
Telltale game: Gainesville. West Forsyth starts the 2013 season with the hardest team on its schedule — the defending Class 5A state champion Gainesville Red Elephants. The Wolverines’ defense forced five-star quarterback Deshaun Watson into four interceptions last season en route to a 32-30 upset victory. For West to pull off the same feat, the younger players must grow up quickly.
Gut-check stretch: Gainesville and at Flowery Branch. "Iron sharpens iron" is what West head coach Frank Hepler said about the first two games. Both are non-region games but are quality opponents and will give Hepler a proper barometer for his team.
Trap game: Centennial. West walloped Centennial 40-6 last season, but the timing of the game could present a potential problem. The game falls after Alpharetta and before a bye week, so the Wolverines will likely come off a close game and may want to start their off week early, viewing Centennial as a pushover.
Outlook: With so many question marks on the team, it’s difficult to expect the same results as the last two seasons. Hepler has built West into a powerful program and hasn’t allowed a below -.500 record since the school began playing a varsity schedule in 2008. There likely will be some drop-off in the number of wins, but West should still challenge for a playoff spot.
By the numbers
West scored 30 or more points eight times last season.
— John McWilliams