The first full weekend of the high school football season features battles for the bragging rights of three towns and a trio of Class A South matchups that may help separate contenders from pretenders right off the bat. 

Entrance to Jackson Liberty High School (Google street view)

Tonight Jackson Memorial, coming off an 8-3 season and Class A South title, takes the short trip to Jackson Liberty in a non-divisional game. The Jaguars have dominated the brief series between the town rivals.  This is the Jersey Mike’s Game of the Week and it will be broadcast on NewsTalk Radio WOBM 1160/1310AM and shoresportsnetwork.com. 

Also tonight, Freehold visits Freehold Township with both schools coming off impressive wins in their openers last weekend.  Tomorrow afternoon, defending Central Jersey Group 4 champion Brick takes the short bus ride to Brick Memorial in what is always an entertaining matchup.

That is one of three games in Class A South, which is arguably the deepest and most competitive division in the Shore Conference.  Southern heads to Toms River East tonight and Saturday night Toms River North will host Lacey in a game that will also be broadcast on the Shore Sports Network.

Toms River South will open what many expect to be a very good season tonight in a rather unique fashion as they visit Donovan Catholic, a school just a half-mile away on Hooper Avenue.  The Indians will host a “Spirit Rally” on their practice field at 4pm with food, beverages and music before parading and marching to the home of the Griffins. 

The South Marching Band will lead the way followed by cheerleaders, spirit mascots and the football team. Right behind them will be fans making the short jaunt down Hooper Avenue.  Should be quite a sight.

Saturday night my family be sitting in High Point Solutions Stadium as Penn State visits Rutgers in the Scarlet Knights first-ever Big Ten conference football game.  We will be among many wearing blue and white who will be cheering for the visitors although clearly the red-clad Scarlet Knight fans should fill most of the 52,000 seats.

 

Kevin with his daughter Alex and son Brandon at Penn State (Townsquare Media NJ)

Penn State has as many Shore Conference players as Rutgers with punter Chris Gulla, tight end Mike Gesicki, wide receiver Saeed Blacknall and defensive end Garrett Sickels to wear those clean and simple Nittany Lion uniforms.  At the end of the night the cheers resonating through the stadium will not be “RU’ but rather “WE ARE.”