Sportswriters get paid to look ahead. Football coaches and their players don’t like to look past today.
So I doubt that most of the Olympians know that their next seven opponents following tonight’s showdown with North went a combined 1-6 in their openers.
The one winner in the bunch was Jeffersonville, which clubbed Evansville Bosse 49-8 on Friday. It appears that the Red Devils might be building into a monster.
While that might be true, the Olympians don’t play them until Oct. 10.
What does that mean for area football fans?
If you bleed orange, it means that tonight’s game against North might be one of two hurdles East will have to jump if it wants to post another unbeaten regular season.
East has won the past 10 Hoosier Hills Conference titles, so the annual North game usually was its toughest non-playoff contest. Three times in the past seven seasons, North handed East its only regular season loss.
Jeffersonville beat Columbus North 30-22 in last season’s sectional, so those two programs might be on a par. North definitely has come a long way in just one season. The Red Devils, who lost to the Olympians 41-0 in 2013, might have done the same.
Tonight’s game should give us all an indication of what the Olympians might be facing down the road.
So it’s on to Week 2.
A 6-2 first week of the season was about average since most of the games were pretty simple to select. Let’s see if I can do better tonight. Here are my local high school football picks.
Columbus East 35, Columbus North 21 — Even though the Bull Dogs are much better defensively than a season ago, I think we all can agree that the Olympians are going to find the end zone four or five times. Thus, it becomes a matter of whether North can answer back offensively. With a healthy tailback Josh Holt, maybe. East’s defense just looks too good. A good game, but East prevails.
Greensburg 34, Jennings County 20 — Greensburg took what should be a pretty good Shelbyville team to the wire before losing by a point last Friday. Jennings County has to prove it can last a solid four quarters. The Panthers are better, but they are headed for 0-2.
Owen Valley 28, Brown County 0 — Owen Valley’s 24-21 victory over perennial power South Putnam in the opener was impressive. The Eagles, meanwhile, have plenty of offensive woes. Those problems won’t get straightened out tonight.
Eastern Hancock 21, South Decatur 19 — After getting thumped by Eastern Hancock 50-6 in 2013, it appears the Cougars have a big shot this season. However, this is a different level of competition than South Decatur faced in its 55-13 win over Cambridge City in the opener.
North Decatur 42, Edinburgh 38 — The Lancers scored 62 points in their opening victory but now face a team that dusted them 50-6 a season ago. Look for an offensive shootout this time around.
Jeffersonville 55, Seymour 12 — This could get worse depending on the Red Devils’ desire to run up the score.
Trinity Lutheran 56, Southside Home School 6 — The Cougars were overmatched in their opener, but not this week. Look for offensive fireworks from Trinity Lutheran, which is probably a year away from a special run.
Jay Heater is The Republic sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 379-5632.