Autumn tradition resumes Friday night

Fans will flock to high school football games

By The Mercury

Area football fans who were disappointed in how things went last Friday night, when K-State lost its season-opener to North Dakota State University, hope for better results this Friday.

Not coincidentally, it’s the first week of the high school football season, and hopes are high all across the state. Large school or small, it doesn’t matter. Records are spotless and everyone has a chance to make this season memorable.

Manhattan High School, the biggest area school, opens on the road against Mill Valley. The Indians are coming off a 6-4 season, not bad by most standards but disappointing compared to the team’s first few years under coach Joe Schartz. MHS will strive to get off to a fast start.

In the most intriguing area game, Rock Creek will play at Wamego. Both teams were 5-4 last season, but Wamego’s Red Raiders could at least claim the championship of the North Central Kansas League. Rock Creek’s Mustangs play in the Mid-East League.

So does Riley County High School, whose Falcons, 5-5 last year, will open at home against Clay Center.

The Blue Valley-Randolph Rams, who play eight-man football in the Twin Valley League and finished 4-5 last season, play host to Flint Hills Christian School.

One of the Rams’ eight-man rivals in the Twin Valley League, the Frankfort Wildcats, will open at home against Southern Cloud. Frankfort finished 4-4 last season.

Every team lost key players and every team has questions that will be answered as the weeks go by.

Happily, every school benefits from loyal fans who wouldn’t think of missing one of their team’s games. Manhattan might have the biggest stadium around — complete with brand new artificial turf — but its fans, as dedicated as they are, are no more vocal than fans of Riley County, Rock Creek, Wamego, Blue Valley-Randolph or Frankfort. 

No doubt those fans will make plenty of noise Friday. That’s as it should be for one of America’s great fall traditions.

We don’t doubt the players will play hard, and we’re confident that area coaches and parents have instilled in them the importance of sportsmanship. Although it’s too much to expect area teams to win them all, we wish them all successful — and injury free — seasons.

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