The opening of the 2017 high school football season will have a slightly different look.
With changes in area leagues, traditional season-opening games have changed for a couple of the Madison County squads, while a couple others will continue theirs.
One of the most anticipated opening weekend showdowns will continue when Jonathan Alder again hosts neighboring Marysville Aug. 25. Alder is coming off a 9-2 season in which it qualified for the Division IV playoffs. That season started with a 35-10 defeat of the Monarchs.
But in recent years it’s been Marysville which has had the upperhand winning in each 2015 (18-14), 2014 (27-20) and 2013 (13-0). The two teams haven’t been traditional season-opening foes but have continued to play each other in the early season.
Another game football fans have grown accustomed to seeing to open the season has been the battles between West Jefferson and Mechanicsburg. Those two teams will play each other in 2017, but both are now members of the Ohio Heritage Conference and will play in Week 7 (Oct. 6) at West Jefferson.
West Jefferson High School and the ′Burg have been regular playoff contenders the last decade or so, but the last two seasons have been lopsided affairs in favor of Mechanicsburg, winning 49-18 and 43-8 the last two contests. West Jeff won the three games prior.
This season however West Jefferson High School will open at home Aug. 25 against the Columbus Crusaders.
London’s annual tilt with Urbana will again take place in Week 1 when the Red Raiders travel to play the Hillclimbers Aug. 25.
London has found itself on the wrong end of this clash in recent years. Last season Urbana edged by with a 28-26 win, it’s won four of the last five in this series. London’s lone win in that span was a 42-30 win in 2015.
Madison-Plains has played a series of Ohio Heritage Conference schools in non-league games in the past few years, but now as a member of the conference the Golden Eagles will have a new opener. They will open Aug. 25 at home against neighboring Westfall.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.