Well, it is that time of year – football season is upon us. It simply doesn’t get any more exciting than this. The coaches and players have been working hard all off-season gearing up for this Friday night.

As always, I will pick each game involving a Columbia County team throughout the season. You cannot get them all right if you do not have a perfect first week so here we go.

Evans @ Effingham Co.

Records Last Season: Evans 3-8/Effingham Co. 7-5

Last Meeting: Last season Effingham Co. edged the Knights 9-6

This game will always have added importance because of the highly controversial playoff matchup between the two teams in 1988. The starting center for the Knights that evening was Buddy Holder. Well, Holder now happens to be the coach at Effingham Co. which revs things up even more. The Rebels return their top two rushers in Desmond House (over 800 yards and 14 touchdowns last season) and Ashaud Roberson. They have talented wide receiver Randy Scott back as well.

Prediction: Effingham Co. 17, Evans 13

Grovetown @ Richmond Hill

Records Last Season: Grovetown 6-5/Richmond Hill 5-6

Last Meeting: Last season Richmond Hill pulled away to win 27-7

This one should be a great matchup. Richmond Hill features running back Jalen Rouse and defensive standout Shaquan Brooks (52 Tackles/5 tackles for loss last season). Of course Grovetown should be solid on defense again led by Simeon Barrow and Jermarvien Fraley.

Prediction: Richmond Hill 23, Grovetown 19

Lakeside @ Midland Valley

Records Last Season: Lakeside 6-5/ Midland Valley 0-10

Last Meeting: Last Season Lakeside won 33-22

Both teams return their starters under center. Midland Valley’s Harper Puckett will be trying to erase last year’s dismal season, while Lakeside’s Jaden Taylor wants to prove he can lead the Panthers to a region title. This should be another close contest, but Lakeside should have enough to get the win.

Prediction: Lakeside 29, Midland Valley 20

Augusta Prep @ Augusta Christian

Records Last Season: Augusta Prep 2-9/Augusta Christian 3-7

Last Meeting: Last Season Augusta Christian won 48-35

I am predicting that Augusta Christian takes a major step forward this season after really struggling the last several seasons. They return experienced quarterback Sam Roberson and talented linebacker Tristen Trent. Also, they add sophomore running back Zack Blackwell who transfered from Greenbrier and should have a big impact on the offense. Augusta Prep will be well coached as always, but they are extremely young.

Prediction: Augusta Christian 45, Augusta Prep 14

Greenbrier and Harlem are idle this week and kickoff their 2019 campaigns on August 30. Greenbrier will be at Statesboro and Harlem will be at Aquinas.

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