We're back, folks.
The 2020 prep football season officially got underway last week with a slew of competitive matchups, though I think we'd all like to see better weather — maybe next month — moving forward.
But enough about all that; let's turn our attention to the Week 1 slate.
A trio of county games — Cold Springs at Holly Pond, Vinemont at Fairview and West Point at Good Hope — highlights the local schedule, and bragging rights are up for grabs.
Addison and Cullman, meanwhile, will host Lynn and Jasper, respectively, in their home openers.
The Bearcats will play on Friday night. The rest of the games were rescheduled for Thursday.
Time to offer up some predictions.
Before we begin, though, remember to cast your vote in "The People's Pick," a series of Twitter polls posted on my timeline (@winfreyjake) each and every Monday afternoon.
% Lynn (0-0) at Addison (0-1): The Bulldogs lost their first season opener since 2015 last week and are no doubt looking to bounce back at home against the Bears.
Historically, it's been a series dominated by Addison. Think Alabama vs. Tennessee.
The Bulldogs lead 50-18-3, though Lynn won the last meeting between the two (21-18) in 2017.
Addison then followed up that particular loss with another against Vinemont the week afterward.
Why is that significant? Well, that's the last time the Bulldogs have dropped two straight regular season games under coach David Smothers.
The Bulldogs are the better team here, and they'll find the win column.
% My Pick: Addison
% People's Pick: Addison (95 percent — 107 votes)
% Cold Springs (1-0) at Holly Pond (1-0): It's a battle of first-year head coaches.
Justin Cornelius had a successful debut with the Eagles last week, defeating Meek 43-40.
Chris Moss, meanwhile, earned a forfeit victory against Brindlee Mountain but will officially make his on-field debut with the Broncos this week following a lengthy tenure at Good Hope from 2005-14.
Holly Pond leads the series 19-8 and won the last meeting between the two (49-40) in 2015.
Remember that classic? Check out the May 21 print edition of The Times if you need a refresher.
Back in the present, though; I like the Eagles to win this one and move to 2-0.
Ayden Alexander is the difference.
% My Pick: Cold Springs
% People's Pick: Cold Springs (64 percent — 119 votes)
% Jasper (1-0) at Cullman (1-0): Let's talk about a razor-thin series.
These squads have met 71 times overall, with Jasper (formerly Walker) holding a 35-34-2 edge.
However, in those 71 games, Cullman has actually outscored the Vikings 1,143 to 1,122.
Last season, Jasper defeated the Bearcats 21-19. In 2018, Cullman took down the Vikings 28-27.
If history is any indication, expect another thriller.
Those in attendance should also expect a win for the home team.
After all, the Bearcats have won 10 of their past 12 meetings with Jasper.
The Vikings are coming off a nice victory over Mars Hill Bible, but I still give the edge to Cullman.
% My Pick: Cullman
% People's Pick: Cullman (72 percent — 160 votes)
% Vinemont (1-0) at Fairview (1-0): The Aggies and Eagles will meet for the first time since 2015.
Fairview won that game 49-20, has won six straight against Vinemont and leads the all-time series 22-19 heading into this week's contest.
The Eagles should have momentum on their side following an exciting 31-30 win against Hanceville last week, while the Aggies are ready for their first official game after a Week 0 cancellation (D.A.R.) and subsequent jamboree tune-up (Falkville).
Looking at this one, Colby Miller vs. Parker Martin should be a fun matchup at quarterback.
In the end, though, I think the home team gets it done with defense.
But as the Eagles proved last week ... I've been wrong before. (Not about Avatar, mind you. It's a bad movie.)
% My Pick: Fairview
% People's Pick: Fairview (82 percent — 120 votes)
% West Point (0-0) at Good Hope (1-0): In my opinion, this could be the game of the week.
I'll be there Thursday night, but I still have yet to come up with a confident pick in this contest.
The Warriors have won four straight against the Raiders and lead the all-time series 23-16-1.
The last meeting between the two (2017) ended with West Point victorious, 37-0.
Good Hope, however, has been the best team in the county over the past two seasons (19-5).
They also opened the 2020 season with a waxing of West Morgan (47-19).
Much like the Vinemont-Fairview game above, the quarterback matchup (Will Cochran vs. Tanner Malin) should be a good one.
The difference could come down to the Raiders' run game.
If Colton Bagwell and Co. get going, I like the home squad to pick up the win.
% My Pick: Good Hope
% People's Pick: Good Hope (57 percent — 167 votes)
% My Record: 3-2
% People's Record: 4-1