King football officially made its return to the Valley Thursday night at Harding Stadium when Big Red defeated Indian Creek.
Tonight, the action continues with all but one of our local teams hitting the road and a West Virginia Class AA showdown Saturday night in Weirton.
For the second year in a row, the Red Knights open the season with Campbell Memorial. Toronto dropped last season's game at home. This year, Campbell Memorial will do the same.
With the talented Demetrius Brandon running the football, Toronto can't lose. I think the Red Knights will win by two scores, 21-6.
Like Toronto, the Crusaders open up on the road and they will have their hands full against the Clippers.
Columbiana, a playoff team in 2008, is coming off a 7-3 season, while Central was on the opposite side of things with a 3-7 mark.
Coach Gregg Bahen and his boys are eager to turn things around this season and it'll all start with a win tonight.
It'll be a squeaker but the Crusaders will prevail in a 28-26 dogfight.
Buckeye Local at Martins Ferry
This is Ron Pobolish's final year on the sidelines and what a better way for him to kick it off than against Buckeye 8 foe Martins Ferry?
Anything seems to go when these neighboring rivals get together. It's anybody's game. But a winner must be picked and I'm going with the Purple Riders. Dave Bruney's team will open up with a 35-21 victory.
The Wildcats' season begins like it has in recent years - opposite St. Clairsville. Tonight, Edison will travel to Red Devil territory.
This one's hard to call. Edison has pretty much limped through the last eight seasons or so. The Red Devils, on the other hand, have rebuilt the program in the same time frame.
Common sense says to put my money on St. Clairsville, but as the mother of two future Wildcats, my heart is saying to go with the hometown team.
I'm going with the latter and predicting a 26-13 win for the 'Cats.
Last year, the Huskies squeaked out an 18-15 win over the Mustangs at home. I think things will change this year.
Coach Justin Kropka has led Harrison Central to 20 wins in four seasons and No. 21 will come tonight, although by a much-bigger margin than last year, a 21-0 shutout to be exact.
Oak Glen at Crestview
The Golden Bears, who are ranked eighth in West Virginia's preseason poll, took steps forward last season. This season, they will take will strides.
While I do expect Oak Glen to win some games, but I do not think they will win tonight. Crestview plays in a tough conference.
They mix it up with some of the best small-schools in this part of the state and are coming off a 9-1 season and a playoff berth. That gives it an edge on the field and what I think will be a 20-13 edge on the scoreboard.
Brooke at Parkersburg
The Big Reds, who were state champs in 2006 and 2007, finished a disappointing 4-6 last season and failed to make the playoffs. This year, Parkersburg got a boost when all-state running back Allan Wasonga, transferred to the program. Things could turn around for the Big Reds.
The Bruins are also out for a turnaround and while they didn't get an all-state transfer, they did get a boost of their own with a new head coach. From what I hear, Tom Bruney has Brooke looking like its old self.
I think the Bruins will look even more like their old selves tonight when they beat their old Class AAA rival, 42-34.
Petersburg at Weir
Last year, I choose Weir to fall to Petersburg in its season opener. It didn't take long for the Red Riders' faithful to call me up and tell me I was wrong. Later that night, the football team proved me wrong and their fans right by rolling all over Petersburg.
I'm a girl who learns from her mistakes, so this season, I'm going with the Red Riders.
Weir will win and win big, 47-21, when it opens the season Saturday at 7 p.m. at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
(Elverd, a resident of Toronto, is a sports writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times)