2017 football season to kickoff this week

By Kristian Russell - krussell@elkintribune.com
The Falcons kickoff the 2017 season at West Wilkes. - File Photo
Starmount will travel to Mount Airy to take on the Granite Bears in the season opener. - File Photo

With kickoff of the 2017 football season just a few days away, teams are preparing for the opening game. On Friday night, Forbush will travel to West Wilkes, while Starmount will travel to Mount Airy. Both games are bound to be an exciting way to start the new season.

Starmount at Mount Airy:

The Starmount Rams open its 2017 season against one of the better known 1A teams, the Granite Bears. Mount Airy has had several succesful football seasons and it doesn’t look like that run will come to an end anytime soon. While Mount Airy has had the success, the Rams have struggled to keep its numbers up but this season things seem to be turning around. Starmount has a roster of 32 players this season with 14 seniors leading the way.

These two teams met up for the 2016 season opener where Mount Airy took a 42-18 win. Later in the season, Mount Airy made it to the Regionals of the NCHSAA 1A Playoffs. For the Rams to earn a win over the Granite Bears, the team is going to have to come out stronger than ever.

The Rams have a returning quarterback, Patrick Usher, who anchored the offense last season. This year head coach Scott Johnson is not only relying on Usher in the quarterback position, but he is also relying on Trey Dezern. Dezern will take reps while Usher rests after playing defense for the Rams. While it is unusual for the quarterback to play defense, Johnson is confident that it will make an impact for his team this season.

The Rams didn’t just return its starters on offense, it also lucked out with its starters on defense. This season the Rams have Peyton Mullins, Brendon Eads, and Ethan Barnes leading the defensive side. Coming up against a powerhouse Mount Airy offense, the Starmount defense will have to buckle down and make tough plays to get the opening win.

Starmount at Mount Airy will kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Forbush at West Wilkes:

The Falcons will travel to Millers Creek on Friday night to battle its former MVAC opponent, West Wilkes. The Blackhawks and the Falcons have not met on the football field since September 7, 2012 when West Wilkes took a 28-7 win over Forbush.

Offensively the Falcons are regrouping for the 2017 season. For this game the Falcons are without one of its key players, Zane Johnson, who was vital to Forbush’s offensive game in 2016. Forbush head coach Chris Johnson has already set a plan into motion on how the Falcons will cope with the loss of Zane’s talents.

At quarterback this season, Forbush is putting the reins in Blake Winebarger’s hands. Winebarger has the ability to make precise throws and he knows how to take tough hits if he needs to make a run.

On defense the Falcons are not short on talented players. With athletes like Tanner Gregory and Louden Hundley anchoring the defensive side, the Falcons are ready to make its mark. An additional defensive player ready to make an impact, is freshman Avery Durham who comes in at 6’4 and 280 pounds.

For the Falcons to come away with a win over the Blackhawks, the kinks will need to be ironed out quickly on offense and defense. The Blackhawks are known to be a quick playing team who can drive down the field in the blink of an eye. Last season West Wilkes had several come from behind wins to give the team an overall record of 8-4.

There are always opening game nerves from both teams, but the team that is able to get over the hump will be the team that can take home an opening game win.

Forbush at West Wilkes will kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

The Falcons kickoff the 2017 season at West Wilkes.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_DSC_0029.jpgThe Falcons kickoff the 2017 season at West Wilkes. File Photo

Starmount will travel to Mount Airy to take on the Granite Bears in the season opener.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_DSC_0258.jpgStarmount will travel to Mount Airy to take on the Granite Bears in the season opener. File Photo
Forbush and Starmount football previews

By Kristian Russell