It’s the opening week for high school football and Fairfield Falcon coach Bob Miller relates it to a holiday.
“I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve. I can’t wait for Friday night,” the veteran coach said.
Another veteran coach Tim Dawson at Concord said, “After 23 practices our kids are ready to hit someone other than a teammate.”
The weather was perfect to start practice with lower temperatures and humidity before those elements started cranking up this week.
“At least it happened before Friday night so the kids have a chance to get acclimated a little better,” Dawson said. “That will help out especially with two-way players.”
The Falcons are not only adjusting to the weather, but getting back into a routine as Fairfield returned to school last Monday.
“We are probably one of the few schools around here that had a full two weeks of two-a-days,” Miller said.
The highlight game of the first week as it has been in recent years has the Jimtown Jimmies visiting the NorthWood Panthers at Andrews Field in Nappanee. The field is named after the school’s legendary coach Jim Andrews who amassed an impressive record of 150-67 over 20 seasons (1972-91) before he died in an automobile accident in the spring of 1991.
Jimtown at NorthWood
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Series record: Jimtown 13-5
Last season: Jimtown 27-0
NorthWood scrimmaged Elkhart Central in preparation for the season.
“It was a good change for us,” NorthWood coach Scott Hoover said. “Central has some good players, but we matched up well with them. We got out of the scrimmage what we wanted. It gave us a chance to evaluate some players and to see if we can play at a faster and more physical pace.”
The Panthers were a 28-2 winner in 2011 when the teams last clashed at Andrews Field.
“Our guys always want to beat the teams close to you,” Hoover said. “Our kids go to church with the Jimtown players. We see them at the fair. One thing we told them about last season’s game is we are a different team with the opportunity to leave its mark on the program.”
It may be a different team, but many of the skill players return including the starting quarterback 6-2 (205) senior Will Kirkwood.
“It’s always nice to have a returner at quarterback,” Hoover said. “Jimtown can throw a lot of things at you with their blitz packages and Will has seen just about everything.”
The NW offensive line is anchored by returning starters — 5-10 (240) senior Jake Snider at center, 5-11 (215) junior at left guard and 6-2 (195) senior Corbin Johnson at left tackle. Six-two (208) senior Tanner White, who started on defense a year ago, is slated to start at right tackle.
“They all played in the game last season and now have a year under their belt,” Hoover added.
Six-foot (165) junior Marquis Schieber is slated to start at quarterback for the Jimmies.
“He is a very athletic kid,” Hoover said. “When he keeps the ball and gets around the edge he can go.”