High school football season is here.
And to kick things off, let's talk about the weather.
When Mother Nature isn't busy flooding the Firelands, she's baking us, and that's what reportedly is going to happen Friday as the game-time temperatures are expected to be about 90 degrees.
The first game up is Norwalk at Edison. This used to be the Melon Bowl, as I believe someone at this paper called it about a quarter-century ago. Now, with the season usually beginning a week earlier, the game takes place the week before the Milan Melon Festival.
Either way, the team that wins this game can build some momentum toward a successful season.
Edison leads the season, which began in 1982 but took two years off in the late 1990s, 15-8.
Many people around the Maple City are saying this is the year for the Truckers. They have a solid core of seniors back. It's time Norwalk put an end to 30 years of non-winning football.
Norwalk has had three 5-5 seasons since 1977. Those were 1978, 1998 and 2004.
Here's a look at the Norwalk-Edison series from the past decade.
1996 Edison 52, Norwalk 15.
1997 Edison 26, Norwalk 23.
2000 Norwalk 33, Edison 13.
2001 Edison 27, Norwalk 21 (OT).
2002 Edison 7, Norwalk 0.
2003 Edison 48, Norwalk 27.
2004 Norwalk 28, Edison 24.
2005 Edison 25, Norwalk 13.
2006 Edison 34, Norwalk 24
In 1998 and 1999, Edison opened the season with Willard, while Norwalk moved its Perkins game up to Week 1 and played Port Clinton in Week 3.
Whitney Field will officially be torn up Saturday night, as St. Paul hosts Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic (SMCC).
This has turned into a pretty good matchup in the past 10 years. There was a stretch from about 1982 to 1994, where SMCC won every year.
The Flyers are supposed to be stacked this season. As long as they stay healthy, St. Paul fans can likely look forward to 15 weeks of football.
Here's a look at recent meetings including a pair of playoff contests.
1996 St. Paul 47, SMCC 7.
1997 St. Paul 45, SMCC 6.
1998 SMCC 21, St. Paul 0.
1999 St. Paul 32, SMCC 6.
2000 St. Paul 19, SMCC 0.
2001 St. Paul 17, SMCC 10.
2002 St. Paul 30, SMCC 27 (3OT).
2003 St. Paul 23, SMCC 0.
2003 SMCC 23, St. Paul 20 (playoffs).
2004 SMCC 34, St. Paul 12.
2005 St. Paul 31, SMCC 28.
2005 St. Paul 23, SMCC 14 (playoffs).
2006 SMCC 27, St. Paul 24.
In other games:
Ashland at Willard
The Flashes are hoping to reverse a 44-6 loss to the Arrows last season under first-year head coach Mike Strance.
A Division II playoff team in 2006, the Arrows are led by first-team all-Ohio quarterback Taylor Housewright.
Keystone at Monroeville
The Eagles outscored Keystone 45-26 for the first of eight wins on the season. The Wildcats are hoping to contend for the Patriot Athletic Conference title. Senior quarterback Mike Herb has started every varsity game since the fourth one of his freshman season.
New London at CVCA
Brent Besancon's first game as the New London coach is an away game at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, which is located in Cuyahoga Falls. The Royals rolled up 58 points against New London last season.
Buckeye Central at South Central
The Trojans gained the upperhand over the Bucks 16-6 last season as quarterback Alex Uselton threw for 131 yards.
Lucas at Plymouth
Lucas returns to the Big Red schedule for the first time since 2003. In that game, Lucas gained a 35-0 shutout win.