Our picks for Washington County football games
Boy, that seems like the good old days.
It’s high school football, which starts on the first Friday in September, rather than around Halloween.
We missed you.
The 2021 season is gradually returning to normal, just resuming its usual schedule. But the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a time lag between the last two “real” seasons. The 2020 season has been super-condensed.
Proceed with caution:Amid pandemic, fall sports set to debut in Washington County
Faces in the crowd:Ready to shine: 25 Washington County athletes to watch this fall
New Kids On The Block:North Hagerstown’s Drew Lobley leads Washington County freshmen to watch fall sports
Seven games open the 2021 season. Six of our teams will face an opponent out of the country for the first time in nearly two years. Four of them will actually take buses across the county borders.
It’s a normal year, at least for a little while.
Once again, it’s time to reach out and pick the winners for our various games. It’s a different format than what we’ve done in the past, but …
The start of this year is hard to imagine. Thanks to the 2020 season, there isn’t much to assess. Additionally, Washington County played its fall games while other locations in Maryland played spring schedules.
It’s time to break out the trimester. I’ll be there all season to return it.
Agree or disagree with the choices? Let me know. You always have in the past.
Here we are.
Francis Scott Key in Smithsburg, 6
Experience must count for something. The Leopards have an abundance of veteran players, who had the chance to learn, use and understand the methods of coach Vince Ahearn in his first season. But FSK has beaten Smithsburg four times in a row – though that’s an old story – and played spring football, winning one of five games.
Prediction: Smithsburg, who got off to a quick start while trying to achieve his first victorious season since 2010.
Boonsboro at Catoctin, 6:30 a.m.
Boonsboro has some scores to settle. The Warriors have lost five straight games to the Cougars, including twice in 2019 as Catoctin was on his way to a Class 1A state title. Most of the Cougar Championship team have graduated. The Warriors, meanwhile, had a younger squad with a number of sophomores who are now seniors. Boonsboro has experience in key positions, which should help first-year quarterback Blaike Biegler.
Prediction: Boonsboro, to end the losing streak.
South Hagerstown at Oakdale, 6:30 a.m.
This season could be a challenge for the Rebels. The Class 3A team has had one of their smaller rosters in years, thanks in part to ineligibility (a side effect of virtual learning). Oakdale, the 2018 Class 2A state champion, played his 2020 season in the spring, using the modified format to kick off a year of rebuilding. The Bears were 2-3, winning their last two games.
Prediction: Oakdale, as South searches for an identity.
North Hagerstown vs. Thomas Johnson at Urbana, 7
This could be the great luck of the Hubs. North has struggled the past few seasons, but seems to have found a team with some chemistry. It starts with quarterback Marc Buckley, who has shown some brilliant moments during the league’s summer assists. He also has semi-proven weapons in running back Bray Alexander and wide receivers Andrew Crocker and Alex Clark. The Patriots are in the process of restarting their program. TJ folded in 2018 and lost nine games. The spring 2020 season, in which the Pats went from 1 to 5, was a comeback tour.
Prediction: North Hagerstown, as TJ searches for an identity.
Saint James in Clear Spring, 7
An opening match between two opponents in the same boat. The Saints and Blazers each have a limited number of seniors and a large number of young players in their roster. But there is a difference. Many young members of Saint James were playing as freshmen, taking their tracks. Clear Spring has many young players entering the field for the first time. The Blazers are on the ground floor of a new system, introduced by new coach Jason Ankrah, a former NFL player.
Prediction: Saint James, because the saints have already been there.
Paden City (W.Va.) at Hancock, 7
The Panthers will play their first college football game since 2019, having played a Washington County JV schedule in 2020. As usual, the Panthers have a very limited roster, struggling to field a full squad for many practices. pre-season. Hancock has a new quarterback in Kaden Keefer, a converted wide receiver. Paden City are a team similar in size to the Panthers. The Wildcats just lost 34-0 to Frontier.
Prediction: Paden City in the near, since the Wildcats have an experience game.
Williamsport in Manchester Valley, 7
This is what Williamsport has been waiting for for years. The Wildcats are a veteran team with most of their major players returning from last year. Williamsport has explosive players, but will start a new quarterback. This will be the first of four games where the Class 1A Wildcats face a 3A opponent. These matches are important for playoff points alone. Manchester Valley have been a formidable opponent for Williamsport in their first three meetings. The Wildcats had wins by three and five points in the first two games before losing by 12 in 2019. Manchester Valley was 4-2 in the Carroll County spring season, passing opponents 102-67. The Mustangs scored 93 points while allowing 20 in the four wins.
Prediction: Williamsport, in what could be an early season statement.