Thirty two days ago, high school football players donned shoulder pads and helmets and began preparing for what happens tomorrow night: the first game of the 2013 high school football season.
All four area teams – Brighton, Covington, Munford and Tipton-Rosemark Academy – will be in action.
The most intriguing matchup for sure happens in Munford where the Cougars and Covington will kick off the season at 7 p.m.
“It's different for us,” said Covington head coach Marty Wheeler when asked about playing a county rival in the season opener. “It's a positive in the sense that there should be a big crowd and everybody gets to see what each team has … The guys are excited about playing a county rival.”
At the beginning of every season, there are a lot of uncertainties.
But with Munford and Covington this year, there are more than usual.
The Chargers, a year removed from advancing to the Class 4A state title game, hit the field minus 15 starters from the 2012 squad.
Munford returns 12 starters, but will have a new starting quarterback and a new coach in Ahmaad Galloway, who will be on the sideline as a head coach for the first time in his career.
Covington lost 14-6 to First Assembly Christian School in last Friday's jamboree.
Munford tied Haywood 14-14 in the same jamboree.
Cougar junior quarterback Joseph Fulcher threw two TD passes in his debut.
Wheeler said he expects a few players who missed the jamboree because of injuries to be ready to go Friday night.
The coach said all the hype of the game will fade eventually and the game will boil down to what all games boil down to.
“Ultimately,” he said, “you get out there and you hope your kids do what you've prepared them to do.”
Brighton opens the season at home against Carver, a Class A team the Cardinals beat 30-0 last year.
Tipton-Rosemark travels south to take on Tupelo Christian Prep in its opener.
Both games begin at 7 p.m.