I was leaving church Wednesday night when I heard the beautiful words: “Thank God for football season.”
“Amen,” I thought, as I felt a comfortably cool breeze hit me under the striking golden hues of sunset.
“That’s right,” I was still thinking. The summer heat has broken and become Chamber-of-Commerce quality. College and pro games have started, there’s a game on TV almost every night and our favorite sons are playing high-school ball every weekend in our neighborhood stadiums.
I took a deep breath to take it all in. How great it is!
“Football season is beautiful,” I said in agreement with my fellow church member.
She rolled her eyes.
The mother then rattled off what it’s like to have a young boy playing in a youth league in Gwinnett County. There’s practice three, sometimes four, nights a week. Games are every Saturday. And, she said, if she’s lucky, football could be six days a week.
Oh wait a minute, I get it. She was being sarcastic.
“Yeah, football is great,” she said with another roll of the eyes.
Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder.
This week’s picks.
Every week, I pick high-school football games that are played in Patch coverage areas from Stone Mountain to Cumming. I was 19-6 last week, bringing my overall record to 57-15.
Are you ready for another round of picks?
Duluth at Norcross: How big of a win would this be for Duluth to knock off state-ranked Norcross? The Wildcats (2-1) could easily be 3-0 — a 43-41 triple-overtime loss at Alpharetta last week is the lone blemish on the record — and are one of Gwinnett County’s most improved teams. But Norcross is averaging 40 points per game, allowing 12 and has talent all over the field. This will be closer than last year’s 35-0 Norcross win over Duluth, but the Blue Devils are still a heavy favorite. Norcross 40, Duluth 24.
Greater Atlanta Christian vs. Westminster (5 p.m. Saturday Georgia Dome): The toughest opponent so far greets GAC Saturday in the Dome. Despite Westminster’s 1-2 record, the Wildcats are traditionally a tough out in Class AA. Look at last year, when Westminster started 1-2, then beat undefeated GAC (3-0) by a score of 24-13. The Spartans are 3-0 again, but look to be better than last year’s 9-3 team. GAC 21, Westminster 17.
Peachtree Ridge at Meadowcreek: It’s hard to see any scenario in which Meadowcreek can win this Region 7-AAAAA opener. Peachtree Ridge (2-1) is just too good, and the Mustangs (0-3) look overmatched. Peachtree Ridge 45, Meadowcreek 3.
Scott Bernarde is the Associate Regional Editor for 12 Patch sites in DeKalb, Gwinnett, Fulton and Forsyth counties.