Well, its almost here, at least. Close enough for me to begin talking about it and not come off as a fanatic.
On Thursday, football pads will go on at high schools across the state of Georgia, and Alabama wont be far behind. The first game in the Bi-City area will be played in just 22 days, and every teams season will begin by Aug. 31.
There are a host of storylines to follow this fall: New coaches, including one at state power Carver High, a handful of highly touted recruits and traditional middle-of-the-pack teams with legitimate hopes of making the state playoffs.
Thats what weve got in store this year, and beginning on Aug. 6, Im going to tell you all about it.
Starting next Tuesday, I will provide one team preview per day for 19 consecutive days, leading up to the release of the annual football preview issue and Dandy Dozen release on Aug. 25.
By the time the season gets here, I will have been at practices for all 19 teams. I have already visited a handful of teams, and their excitement for the season is evident.
These previews, which will run both in print and online, will introduce you to the team and its players, giving a thorough look at who and what to watch for on both sides of the ball. Ill also take a look at the most pressing issues facing each team, notable games on the schedule and a reasonable expectation for the season.
Meanwhile, on the Valley Preps blog ledger-enquirer.com/valleypreps Ill provide additional content such as preseason power rankings, a look at the top players in the area, closer looks at individual regions and which teams look like playoff contenders.
Along the way, Id like to hear from you.
I want to know what you think about your favorite teams, where they stand in their regions and whether they can contend at the state level. Which players are you looking forward to seeing? What about the games youre looking forward to most?
What do you want to know that I can provide for you in these previews?
Engage with me on Twitter, via email or in comments on the stories. The only thing that makes athletics more exciting is a great debate.
The season is creeping slowly closer, and I think we have plenty of reason to believe it will be a good one.
I predict more than one non-traditional team has what it takes to make it into the postseason and I think at least one team can contend for a state title, while a few others may just be able to make the leap from solid to very good over the next five months.
Over the course of 19 days between Aug. 6-24, Ill let you know which is which, you can let me know where Im right and, more importantly, where you think Im wrong, and we can all get ourselves ready for what is sure to be another great season.
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571, email@example.com; Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.