In the world of sports, you just never know how teams, especially high school teams full of whimsical 14-18-year-old kids, are going to respond to success … and failure.
For example, during Week 1 of the high school football season, there were a handful of heartbreaking one-point games, a few games that pitted archrivals against each other right out of the gate, and a sprinkling of games that may have been easier or harder than expected. There are teams off to a good start and finding themselves earning respect in the wire services.
Such is the world of high school football. To be honest, it’s true of any level of football. Break it down further, and it’s true of any sport.
Week 1 featured Camden at Waverly, McKenzie at Huntingdon, Trenton at Milan and Dresden at Martin-Westview. Those are four pretty heavy-duty West Tennessee rivalries to start the festivities. To lose to a rival leaves a bitter taste that lasts an entire year. To win can set the tone for a season, but not always.
Still, you’d rather be on the winning end of those adventures.
Waverly toppled Camden 47-20. McKenzie took control early for a 34-12 triumph. Milan got the Derek Carr era off to a good start by beating county rival and state contender Trenton-Peabody 26-14. Dresden stunned defending 2A state champion Westview 28-13. For the winners, the elation is unrivaled. For the second-place finishers, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
But, when I checked the Week 2 results, I saw that three of the four vanquished teams from last week rallied for victory. Huntingdon beat South Side on the road, Camden rebounded for a big win over East Hickman and Peabody handed Westview its second loss of the season.
Meanwhile, when I checked the teams who won games against their archrivals, there didn’t seem to be any hangover. McKenzie won somewhat handily over a tough Chester County team. Dresden took care of business against Greenfield and Milan overmatched Manassas. Waverly was the only team to suffer a setback, but that was against a pretty salty Columbia Academy team.
Look to the east at one of the teams under our publishing umbrella and you see McEwen, off to a 2-0 start and ranked No. 7 in last week’s Associated Press Class A poll. Eric Pullen’s team beat a historically good Jo Byrns team last week, which should solidify the Warriors’ lofty status with the wire service.
Consider this: with McKenzie at No. 1, Dresden at No. 6 and McEwen at No. 7, three of the top 10 teams reside in Region 6A. That’s pretty intense. I’ve just looked at a handful of area teams and was able to deduce this data. We have 80 percent of the season to play.
We could be in for an exciting ride this year.
Jim Steele is a correspondent for Magic Valley Publishing and the host of The Pressbox, which airs from 4-6 p.m. CT, Monday-Thursday on 95.9 FM, WRJB, Camden, Tenn.