We could very well see our first upset of the high school football season in Week 1.
Tupelo Christian Prep, a Class 1A school, will host 4A Tishomingo County on Thursday. It will mark the first time TCPS has faced a 4A team.
Games like this are what make the early non-division schedule so fun.
Can the Eagles pull out a win? Sure. And I’ll look at four more games where I believe the lower- classification teams have a chance to earn the upset.
• Tishomingo County (4A) at TCPS (1A), Aug. 22: Tish is not a traditionally strong program and won just two games last season. But the Braves will have more beef on the field than the Eagles, who will counter with speed to spare.
If Khi Holiday, Josh Berry and the rest of that offense can start fast, it could be a historic night in Belden.
• Baldwyn (1A) at Booneville (3A), Aug. 30: The Skunk Bowl is a competitive rivalry, with these teams splitting the last six meetings.
Baldwyn was a 2A team until this year, so the gap between these teams isn’t as large as you might think. Booneville won 11 games last year, Baldwyn just three, but I think the latter is back on the rise.
• Tupelo (6A) at Corinth (4A), Aug. 30: The Warriors had the Golden Wave beat in last season’s matchup but fumbled it away late, losing in overtime.
The Warriors are loaded this season, while Tupelo is trying to replace a lot of key parts. That Wing-T offense could make it a long night for the Wave’s defense.
• Hatley (3A) at Smithville (1A), Aug. 30: Smithville won a division championship last season, while Hatley missed the playoffs. The Seminoles won last year’s meeting, 13-7, and this one could be just as close.
Smithville has a dangerous offensive duo with quarterback Octavion Miller and tailback Jabril Smith.
• Calhoun City (2A) at North Pontotoc (4A), Sept. 27: The Vikings moved up from 3A this season, and this game should help prepare them for division play.
Calhoun City is a perennial power in 2A, with three-straight trips to the North final and a state title in 2016. The Wildcats saw their two best linemen graduate, while North Pontotoc is breaking in a new quarterback.
Given my prognosticating history, if I’m right on all these games, that would be the biggest upset of them all.