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Football season is here.

True, the big fiery orange orb is still hanging high in the sky and kicking out some intense heat. We also just closed out the month of July and officially, autumn is still about seven weeks away.

But the calendar on the wall says its football season.

It starts Thursday night with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio as the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Dallas Cowboys.

But locally it really begins Friday night when Calhoun, Gordon Central, and Sonoraville High Schools are all on the field for the first time this year with their first scrimmages.

The regular season openers for all three schools are just a couple of weeks away and the evaluating period continues with coaches keeping constant oversight on their players as each week all the teams just keep trying to get better and better.

The schedule Friday night has Calhoun going to Northwest High School while Gordon Central and Sonoraville will both be at home. Gordon Central will line up against Coosa and Sonoraville will face Villa Rica. All three are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

For Calhoun, the Yellow Jackets expect to again be one of the top dogs in 5-A Region 7 and make another playoff push and so they want to enter the season having played strong, physical competition that will give head coach Phil Stephenson and his staff a good look at their players between the lines.

And the Bruins should provide just that type of opposition, having now gone 16 consecutive years without a losing season.

The Jackets were 9-4 last year and reached the third round of the 5A playoffs before they fell at home to Coffee High School in mid-December.

They open the season in two weeks on Friday, Aug. 20 with a road game at Dalton.

Sonoraville will continue to strive for consistency from week to week after a streaky 2020 season saw them finish 5-5 and the Phoenix take the first step in that process Friday night when they host Villa Rica.

The Phoenix, led by head coach Denver Pate, enter the 2021 campaign looking to pick up where they left off last year when they ended the season with a three-game winning streak.

They began 2020 with a two-game winning streak and then lost five in a row before they closed with a trio of strong showings that got them back to the .500 mark.

It would seem Villa Rica is also looking for consistency after the Wildcats were a bit streaky themselves just a year ago. They had two two-game win streaks that resulted in their four victories but also had a three-game losing streak and a two-game skid en route to a 4-6 mark overall.

The Big Red are slated to open their season Friday, August 20th with a road trip to Rome to face Model High School.

Gordon Central enters its first scrimmage of the summer looking to continue to make strides under third-year head coach T.J. Henderson.

The Warriors kick off the year officially on Friday, August 20th when they board the bus and head to Woodland.

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