By Austin Bishop
Winston County Journal
All four of Winston County’s high school football teams are set to begin their 2013 seasons in earnest on Friday night, but only one of the four will be playing inside the county’s boundaries.
Nanih Waiya High School will open its season at home against Union, while Louisville makes the trek to Jackson to take on Jim Hill High School, Winston Academy heads south to Bay Springs to take on Sylva-Bay Academy and Noxapater goes north to take on Class 2A power Eupora. All games begin at 7 p.m.
“We knew when we made our schedule out it was going to be a challenge,” said Noxapater head coach Justin Hunter. “But we know it’s going to make us better. If you are going to improve you need a challenge.”
After facing Eupora and East Webster to begin the season, the Tigers will have an open date before opening Region 3-1A play against French Camp Academy. The Panthers played for the 1A title last season.
The Wildcats of Louisville, tapped as the No. 2 team in Class 3A by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, will be taking on an unfamiliar foe in the Tigers of Jim Hill High School.
“I don’t know a lot about them, but I know they are big,” LHS head coach M.C. Miller said. “They are probably the biggest team we will play all year. So we expect them to be physical as well.”
Miller’s ‘Cats are coming off an impressive showing on Saturday where they rolled to a 35-14 jamboree win over West Point in just a half of play.
“We really played well,” Miller said. “We looked good on both sides of the ball. I didn’t really expect the game to go like that, but I thought we would play well and we did.”
Nanih Waiya will be taking on a familiar foe in Union. The two schools have played a non-division game against each other for the past several seasons.
“They have a good football team, they always do,” Hanna said of UHS. “It’s going to be a tough challenge for us. They have some pretty good skill players.”
The Warriors took a 14-12 win over Enterprise in a jamboree in Decatur last Friday night.
“We still have a few things we have to work out,” he said.
Winston Academy is hoping to bounce back from a 4-6 season last year as veteran head coach Bo Milton continues to try and rebuild the program.
“We have some good kids with some talent,” Milton said. “We are definitely headed in the right direction.”
The Patriots will be taking on the SBA Saints, who are dropping down a classification this year to MAIS A.