AISA and ACSC Week 1 predictions

Published 1:55 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

There is no more counting down the days. This Friday night, Aug. 17, high school football returns to the county with five games between the AISA and ACSC taking place. Coosa Valley, Cornerstone, Kingwood and Evangel will all open their seasons hoping for wins to get off on the right foot, while the Hope Christian Eagles head into their second game.

It’s one of the most exciting times of the sports calendar, and below we have predictions on how each opener will play out.

Coosa Valley at Hooper Academy

This is a game the Rebels lost 28-6 last year to open the season, but it is a much different Coosa Valley team in 2018. With Jamie Scruggs taking over the reins, excitement has been built around the program and several impressive players are either returning or have been added to the roster since last season. Looking at last year’s roster, Hooper loses close to 15 seniors, which will make this year’s team young. For that reason, I’m going out on a limb and saying the Scruggs era will start on a positive note. Coosa Valley 27, Hooper Academy 14

Cornerstone vs. Sparta Academy

Last year, Cornerstone won this game in dominating fashion by a final score of 45-20 to kick off the James Lee era. This year, the Chargers are more confident and will have a better and more experienced team than last year, while Sparta is coming off a 1-10 season. For that simple reason, this was an easy pick for me. It may take some time for the offense to get going again, but Cornerstone takes this one. Cornerstone 35, Sparta Academy 13 

Kingwood at Pickens Academy 

Kingwood is 0-11 against Pickens Academy all time and is coming off a 60-0 loss to the Pirates in its final regular-season game of 2017. Pickens went just 6-4 last year, but was clearly the better team in that matchup. I think the Lions will be improved this year and should have a better showing in this game, but 60 points is a tough gap to overcome in one year. Kingwood 20, Pickens Academy 42

Evangel Alabaster vs. Evangel Montgomery (Columbiana Sports Complex)

The Lightning were able to open up the season 1-0 last season after taking down Evangel Montgomery by a final score of 30-16. They went on to win the ACSC State Championship, while the Lions finished the year 1-9. This year, Evangel should be just as loaded, and despite competing in 8-man most weeks, they’ll open the year with another 11-man victory. Evangel Alabaster 35, Evangel Montgomery 14 

Hope at East Memorial

The Hope Christian Eagles, who started the season 1-0 with a victory against Chilton Christian, will be an improved squad this season, and won’t have the burden of a difficult conference schedule, but they’ll take on an East Memorial Christian team on Aug. 17 that finished 2017 a perfect 8-0. It will be a tough contest for the Eagles despite the momentum they’ll carry into the game, but they will have plenty of opportunity to pick up wins similar to their opener the rest of the season. Hope 24, East Memorial 42