Every year I've done this job, I've left a football game or two thinking I should have paid to watch.
I never pay, of course, because my media pass allows me access to games. But looking ahead to this season, there are a few games that I actually would pay to see.
They aren’t all slugfests like West Point at Horn Lake, but they are area games I think have some really interesting aspects to them.
Oxford at Starkville, Aug. 30: Starkville beat Oxford 56-7 in last year’s Little Egg Bowl, but Oxford turned into a completely different team afterwards.
The Chargers are high on everybody’s radar this year and are looking to build on hosting the program's first Class 6A playoff game. I'm ready to see if Oxford can prove itself as a contender or if Starkville runs away with this one.
Tupelo at Corinth, Aug. 30: Corinth had Tupelo on the ropes last year, up 29-13 with seven minutes left, but the Golden Wave came back to win in overtime.
This year, Tupelo has a lot of new faces while Corinth returns the meat of its team. It’s possible DT Sheffield and Tam Patterson help Corinth run away with a revenge victory that could set the tone for their season.
East Union at Myrtle, Aug. 23: After posting a 7-1 record in its first varsity season, a lot of high hopes surround Myrtle.
The Hawks open up the season at Vardaman, then host East Union in Week 2, which should be the best team the Hawks have faced since starting a varsity program.
Can A.I. Nugent and the Hawks start the season off strong by beating a good Class 2A team?
Houston at Noxubee County, Oct. 4: There isn’t much to say about this one, it's just a slugfest. Noxbuee has moved down to Class 3A after winning three of the last five state championships in 4A.
Houston has proved to be one of the top 3A teams in the north the past few years, especially since I’ve been here, so this should be a great division game.
Amory at Kossuth, Oct. 4: Amory has made the playoffs in five-straight seasons in Class 4A. Now the Panthers moved down to 3A, and junior Hunter Jones is one of the best returning quarterbacks in the area.
This will be Amory’s first division game in 3A, against a very talented Kossuth squad. The Panthers have a chance to send Division 1-3A a message from the start.