It's here. The scrimmages are over, and the high school football season has arrived.
With several games set for Thursday, a loaded schedule Friday and a couple of intriguing Saturday matchups, Week 1 of the season should quickly wipe out the months of longing for football to return.
In Sports Monday, we'll go into greater detail on the 10 best games of the first week of the season. But here's a week-by-week look at the top games of the upcoming year:
The pick: Midwest City vs. Edmond Santa Fe at UCO (Thursday)
Sure, Midwest City still has some doubters after last year's 3-7 season. And maybe the Bombers aren't quite ready to knock off the best of the west. But last year's loss to Santa Fe (50-42) wasn't as lopsided as some of the Bombers' other defeats. Their defense has sparkled in the preseason. Now it's time to find out how they really stack up against the loaded Edmond Santa Fe offense.
Davis at Ringling; Del City at Tulsa East Central; Norman vs. Norman North at OU (Thursday); Jenks/Union vs. Texas powers Euless Trinity/DeSoto (Saturday)
The pick: Jenks vs. Tulsa Union at Tulsa University
The only thing that makes this game any bigger is when it's played in November. But this year's battle has an interesting matchup question, with Union's all-new offensive line, and new starter at quarterback going against what might be Jenks' best defense since the 1997 squad led by Rocky Calmus.
Douglass at Millwood (Saturday); Carl Albert at Coweta; Heritage Hall at Clinton; McGuinness at Tulsa Kelley; Westmoore at Southmoore.
The pick: Tulsa Union at Broken Arrow
Broken Arrow might have more Division I prospects than any team in the state, but are the Tigers a legitimate contender this year? How has Union's batch of new offensive starters handled the tough early schedule? Time to answer some questions before district play begins.
Edmond Santa Fe vs. Edmond North at UCO; Davis at Heritage Hall; Hennessey at Kingfisher; Midwest City at Del City; Tulsa East Central at Tulsa Washington.
The pick: Kingfisher at Heritage Hall