It’s a feeling that you get when the first game of a new season arrives.
The lingering heat and humidity of the summer – with thunderstorms that threaten to delay the start.
The smell of that fresh cut grass and the sound of football being kicked, punted and thrown. The aroma of hotdogs and popcorn; and the sound of the fans and the band getting ready for the next season.
As we start Year No. 47, the opening weekend still gets us excited as a new year unfolds. It is one of those feelings that are hard to describe – yet the passion for this game continues to get stronger.
It is a sport that gets you thinking ahead – maybe too far. It will humble and reward you at the same time. It is indeed a game like no other.
This season will really see some impressive games every week – and this first week illustrates just what we preach year round. The talent is amazing and each game will bring new challenges.
BANNER OPENING WEEKEND
If you are a high school football fan, this first weekend will really get you in the mood for 2017.
The matchups are truly what separates South Florida from the rest of the country. Nationally-rated programs squaring off against other nationally rated teams – in their own backyard.
It’s so refreshing to see our local prospects and teams perform right here at home, although we have many who will hit the road against this season.
One of those programs to spend the first weekend away includes defending 5A state champs, American Heritage and head coach Pat Surtain, who put their winning streak on the line when they travel to Virginia to take on Bishop Sullivan.
Perhaps no game will receive the attention that Friday’s meeting of titans will take place in Fort Lauderdale – where powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas and head coach Roger Harriott will host west coast California power, John Bosco.
The Raiders have been a program that continues to send athletes on to college and the NFL – and are once again loaded up.
In addition to American Heritage and St. Thomas, there are some other games this first weekend that will shine the spotlight on this impressive area.
Defending 6A state champion Miami Carol City has a new head coach, Benedict Hyppolite, and some new faces, but when the Chiefs take the field on Friday night at Traz Powell Stadium in Miami, this one will be for pride – and state and national attention.
The Superintendent’s Trophy is up for grabs in this 305 vs. 954 weekend as the 8A power Deerfield Beach Bucks will be ready to show the power is shifting.
Head coach Jevon Glenn and his staff have built a solid program.
The following night at Traz, the second game will watch defending 8A state champion Miami Southridge – with veteran head coach Billy Rolle – and a loaded group of players – take on 5A emerging power Cardinal Gibbons.
The Chiefs, coached by alum Matt Dubuc, had one of its best seasons in school history, losing only to eventual undefeated state champion American Heritage.
The weekend spotlight games get started tonight with a real good Miami-Dade vs. Broward; public vs. private will take center stage at Traz Powell Stadium when Chaminade-Madonna and 6A powerhouse Miami Central get together for an interesting meeting of two teams fighting to get back to Orlando – for two different reasons.
The first week of the season will also watch some of those prospects we have had the pleasure of covering throughout the years – as many embark on their final season at this level.
While we leave the predictions to those who make them, and to the fans, we do bring you the teams and athletes throughout the course of a year that you want to know about.
It’s the first week of the 2017 high school football season – and it doesn’t get any better.
Braddock at Homestead (Harris), 7
Chaminade-Madonna at Central (Traz), 7:30
Hollywood Hills at Northeast, 7
Jackson at Mourning (North Miami), 7
Mater Academy at Christopher Columbus, 5
Miami Springs at Hialeah (Milander), 7
Monarch at Pompano Beach, 7
North Miami at Miami High (Traz Powell), 3:30
Nova at Coral Glades, 7
Palm Glades at Pinecrest Prep, 7
South Miami at Varela (Southridge), 7
Sunset at Ferguson (Tropical), 7
West Broward at Plantation (PAL), 7
American Heritage (Delray) at Belen Jesuit, 4
Archbishop McCarthy at Fort Lauderdale, 7
Booker T. Washington (Miami) at Dillard, 7
Champagnat Catholic at Doral Academy, 7
Cooper City at Cypress Bay, 7
Coral Gables at South Dade (Harris), 7:30
Coral Springs at Coconut Creek, 7
Deerfield at Carol City (Traz Powell Stadium), 7:30
Edison (Miami) at Naples, 7
Everglades (Miramar) at Hallandale, 7
Everglades Prep (Miami) at Keys Gate Charter (Harris), 7:30
Florida Christian at Marple Newtown (Pa.) at Disney, 6
Hialeah Miami Lakes at Palmetto (Southridge), 3:30
International School of Broward at Lowndes County, Ga., 8
John Bosco, California at St. Thomas Aquinas, 7
Key West at Gulliver Prep, 4
LaSalle at Coral Shores (Tavernier), 4
Marathon at Somerset (Silver Palms), Tropical, 3:30
McArthur at Flanagan, 7
Miami Beach at Dr. Krop (Ives Park), 4
Miami Monsignor Pace at Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lakes), 7
Miami Norland at Piper, 7
North Broward at Pines Charter, 7
Northwestern at American (Milander), 7:30
Pine Crest at Coral Springs Charter (Coral Glades), 7
Ransom Everglades at South Elgin, Ill (Disney), 9
Reagan (Doral) at Coral Reef (Southridge), 7:30
Southwest Miami at Coral Park (Tropical), 7:30
South Broward at Western, 7
Taravella at South Plantation, 7
University School at Glades Central (Belle Glade), 7:30
Westminster Academy (Fort Lauderdale) at Boca St. Andrew’s, 7
Westminster Christian (Miami) at Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale), 7
Blanche Ely at Stranahan (South Plantation), 7
Cardinal Gibbons at Southridge (Traz Powell Stadium), 7
Hialeah Gardens at Westland Hialeah (Milander), 7
North Miami Beach at Killian (Tropical), 7
Plantation American Heritage at Bishop Sullivan, Virginia, 6
Catch the South Florida High Sports Radio Show each Monday night (9-10) on WQAM (560AM). For the past 10 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot!