2019 Rome Pigskin Preview Cover

2019 Rome Pigskin Preview Cover. It will be included in home-delivered editions and will be available at locations around the county.

Not to get philosophical, but each season brings about a renewal. And just like fall, spring and summer, football season has its own distinct period here in the south.

However, it just may trump all others when it comes to people’s anticipation.

Before a play is whistled dead or a huddle is broken there are preseason rankings, preview articles and schedule breakdowns. College recruiting gets analyzed and players attend camp after camp looking for that breakout performance to help them get noticed.

It’s a whole lot of fun for a football fanatic.

This week in Georgia brings about the start of the high school football season, at least officially, and with it, the Rome News-Tribune is bringing back some familiar names in new formats.

First off, today marks the release of the 2019 Pigskin Preview, the annual look at local high school and college football teams.

While Rome News-Tribune’s season preview content has been incorporated into Rome Life magazine in the last two years, this year the sports department, with cooperation from our Times-Journal Inc. family, has put together an 84-page, full-color magazine.

This was a brand new venture for us and it allowed us to delve into more stories on football teams in Rome and Floyd County, some that may not get the attention on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons, but are part of the fabric of local football.

It also brings about the first ever Floyd Super Six, a group of six top high school football players in Floyd County. This inaugural group is an impressive one and is highlighted by players representing one of the more unsung positions on the field — linemen.

The magazine is being distributed with all home-delivered copies of today’s paper and will be available at local businesses starting this week as well as at the Rome News-Tribune offices at 305 E. 6th Ave.

A few years back, the Rome News-Tribune started a weekly high school football internet show called Gridiron Central. While that has gone away, the name will be utilized for our new weekly extra section focused on high school football.

The first Gridiron Central section will be in Friday’s edition of the paper and include a featured article as well as previews for every Friday night football game in our coverage area.

As the season goes on, Gridiron Central will also include stats and schedules to help you keep track of your team or favorite player. It will also be the home of our Gridiron Central Pickem, where myself and Rome News-Tribune employees are joined by representatives from local businesses in picking the winners of each week’s slate of games.

But that’s not where the picking ends. Readers will have a chance to join in the fun and win weekly prizes as part of the Gridiron Central UPICKEM online contest.

Participants can sign up at www.thegridironcentral.com and pick the winners of each game on the list, which will include high school, college and NFL games. Then the top point winners will win that week’s prize pack, which will include gift cards to local businesses and other items.

The contest lasts 14 weeks with a contestants two worst weeks dropped to determine a grand prize winner.

The season is upon us. So get your noisemakers ready and your spirit gear on. Kickoff is on its way.

Jeremy Stewart is the Rome News-Tribune’s sports editor. He can be reached at 706-290-5254 and by email at jstewart@RN-T.com.

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