Football season has begun in Shelby County

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

We are almost there, folks. Just a few more days, and it will be full-blown football season.

Some of our teams have already started; the perennial eight-man powerhouses Hope and Evangel kicked off football in Shelby County last week.

This week, more of our area teams get their seasons rolling. Kingwood will unleash its high-octane offense on Jackson Academy in Alabaster Friday, and several eyes will be on the trio of Gavin Sumrall, Montez Haynes and C’Yontai Lewis as they mesh together under coach Steve Birmingham. The Lions are looking to return to the playoffs, and have all the weapons offensively to get there.

On the other side of the county, two local schools will go toe-to-toe in one of the fiercest rivalries within the AISA. Cornerstone Christian and Coosa Valley will kick off their seasons by it out under the lights in Columbiana. Historically, the games tend to be a shootout, and this year should be no exception.

Meanwhile, other schools will be taking to the field in jamboree games, looking to make any last changes or tweaks before the season begins.

Both Thompson and Pelham take to the road, with the Warriors going to Pell City and the Panthers headed to Tuscaloosa County. Both squads will be looking for their younger players to gain experience before starting the grind of playing in AHSAA Class 6A, Region 4.

Shelby County will host Bibb County at home, and will use the game to help a talented, but young, offensive line grow as a unit. Oak Mountain will also play host to Oxford.

Both Briarwood and Montevallo will travel to their exhibition games, with BCS heading to Vestavia Hills and Montevallo going to Dallas County High.

Spain Park, who will stay at home to face Homewood, is still in search of a true starter at quarterback.

Calera will square off at home with Chelsea, in a game that should take on the feel of a playoff game rather than a preseason matchup. Both are talented squads looking to improve on last year.