EAST BEND - Football is finally back.
High school teams around the area hit the gridiron Friday night to kick off the 2012 season.
Forbush is looking to build on last season’s 2A state playoff appearance - a 51-0 first-round loss to Forest Hills - after a 4-7 campaign that included a 4-4 mark in the deep Mountain Valley Conference.
Quarterback Bennett Winslow leads a young offense in his second year under center, while rising sophomore Jordan Sawyers is expected to take the majority of snaps in the backfield.
Defensively, the Falcons will rely heavily on Cody Shrewsbury, the team’s only returning all-conference performer from last season. Shrewsbury will anchor the defense at the linebacker position after moving off the line.
Other players to watch include seniors Matthew Stanley and G.C. Parks.
Forbush travels to North Surry Friday night to open their schedule.
The Greyhounds are coming off a 7-4 season (4-3 in Northwest Conference) in which they fell 48-33 in the first round of the playoffs to Cuthbertson.
In Boonville, Starmount kicks off its season with local rival Mount Airy Friday.
The teams met in the opening game a year ago with the Rams escaping with a 20-19 victory. Starmount finished the season 11-1, while the Granite Bears powered their way to an 8-4 record.
Senior quarterbacks Samuel Stone and Trey Money lead the four-time defending MVAC champions in a dual-quarterback system, with returning all-conference running back Chaston Martin in the backfield.
Zach Worley and Michael Wood lead the Rams defensively as all-conference linemen a year ago.
Other players to watch include Will Lambert, Hunter Myers and Brian King.
All games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.