The regular season for high school football officially begins on Aug. 27.
It runs 11 weeks to Nov. 5 for teams in Class AAAA, 10 weeks to Oct. 28 for those in the state's other three classifications. But looking at tonight's schedule of games, adjustments might be warranted.
There are 44 public school games tonight involving 88 teams playing in what is known as Week 0. It was added several years ago for teams that were unable to fill the schedules between Oct. 28 and Nov. 5.
South Pointe plays tonight, at home against Charlotte's AFC Rangers. Stallions coach Bobby Carroll said he would rather not play a Week 0 game but had little choice.
"We called every high school in the state hunting a game and couldn't get one,'' Carroll said. "We even had a chance for us and Byrnes to play a doubleheader against two Florida teams that fell through.
"The AFC Rangers called our AD, Mike Drummond, saying they heard we needed a game and would play us in Week 0. Even though I wouldn't normally want to play (tonight), I saw it as something that would help us.''
Carroll pointed out that it will give his Stallions an opportunity to get in a game before playing rival Northwestern at 4 p.m. on Aug. 28. That game will be nationally televised by ESPNU.
And, he said, it will give his team a break during what has to be the one of the toughest non-region schedules in the state.
"After AFC, we play Northwestern, Independence (of Charlotte) and Spartanburg, get a break, and then play Rock Hill."
There are four more games tonight involving local teams. Another game had been scheduled between York and Lewisville, but was postponed until Sept. 24 because of the death last week of Lewisville player Brian Colvin.
Tonight's other games are: South Point of Belmont, N.C., at Clover, 7:30 p.m.; Forestview (N.C.) at Nation Ford; and Chester vs. Abbeville at Newberry College, 7:30 p.m.
Also, Westminster Catawba Christian School, a private school, opens its 2010 season tonight at home against Southlake Christian.
Carroll and his squad are not taking a light approach with the Rangers. The team, in its third season, started as a home school squad. It still has homeschoolers, but has evolved into what Rangers coach Hugh Hicks describes as a second-chance team.
"We take players who can't play elsewhere and give them a second opportunity,'' he said. "We have kids who have gotten into trouble, have been kicked out of school, did not make their high school teams, and kids who didn't like or get along with their head coach.
"We try to coach the kids not only in football but how to straighten their lives out. We'll take a kid from an unstable background and teach him disclipline. We want to tell the kid and his parent, in a lot of cases a single parent, that there is help for those who need it.''
NOTES: Westminster Catawba is dedicating its game tonight to the memory of Lewisville senior tailback Brian Colvin.
Colvin collapsed last Friday during the Chester County Jamboree at Chester High School. He was pronounced dead later that night at Chester Regional Medical Center. The opponent was Westminster Catawba.
Angie Adams Conner, Lewisville's booster club president, said it's a good thing to do. She said many Lewisville fans plan to attend.
PARKING: Parking for Chester's game against Abbeville will be limited to specific areas around the Newberry College campus because students will be reporting today. Please park in the lots along College Street, including the Athletic Club parking lot behind the home stands. Overflow parking will be at the soccer practice field, the Physical Plant and the arts and theater building.
TICKETS: Plenty of tickets are still available for the Northwestern/South Pointe game at District Three Stadium on Aug. 28 at 4 p.m. They are also good for the Byrnes/Hoover. Ala., game that starts at noon. Advance tickets are on sale in the athletic office of both schools and are $10 each. They will cost $12 at the gate. Tickets are on sale to the public from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.