I always cringe as scores come in on the first night of high school football season and I’m keeping a record of my initial picks.
That first week is always the toughest. You’re going on expectation, anticipation and team history when making decisions.
Any one or more of those pieces can be misleading early in the season and lead to picking disaster, which it certainly did in the case of a couple of missed forecasts last week.
I’ll definitely take the initial week’s record of 5-3. Anything better than a .500 mark is golden in my book. We won’t even talk about the prospect of dipping sub .500 for a week or, heaven forbid, the entire season.
Please note a change in some of tonight’s normal game times because of the projections for temperatures in the 100s this afternoon. Here are the kickoff times as of deadline:
Here’s my forecast for Week 2:
Douglas Byrd at E.E. Smith: Both teams opened their seasons with losses last week. This is a tough call, but I’m giving a slight edge to Byrd because Coach Maurice Huey has had his team together longer and should have a slight edge in experience. Douglas Byrd 21, E.E. Smith 14.
Gray’s Creek at Red Springs: The Bears look to make it 2-0 after opening with a win against E.E. Smith. Gray’s Creek 28, Red Springs 14.
East Forsyth at Jack Britt: No one can accuse Britt of a soft schedule. East Forsyth is considered to be one of the best teams in the state. East Forsyth 35, Britt 12.
Seventy-First at Pine Forest: I expect the Falcons to add to the misery of what was a disappointing opening for Pine Forest last week. Seventy-First 30, Pine Forest 8.
South View at Hoke County: It’s been an interesting week off the field for the Tigers, who should continue the roll they started last Friday with a win at Hoke. South View 22, Hoke County 7.
Scotland at Terry Sanford: I’m sure Richard Bailey at Scotland has been preaching revenge after that wild ending against the Bulldogs in last year’s state playoffs, but the Bulldogs are at home and seem to have a lot of offense available. Terry Sanford 23, Scotland 21.
Smithfield-Selma at Westover: Don’t look now but the Wolverines may be on the verge of a 2-0 start. Westover 21, Smithfield-Selma 6.
Follow Earl Vaughan Jr. on Twitter: @EarlVaughanJr