By Rocky Higginbotham
Winston County Journal
Nanih Waiya’s football schedule has been largely the same over the past four seasons, but there will be five new opponents on the slate in 2017.
In fact, Warrior fans won’t have to wait long to see one of them – as Nanih Waiya will open its 2017 slate on Thursday, Aug. 17 with a trip to Hatley.
The Tigers, a Class 3A school, were 4-7 a year ago.
Nanih Waiya will then host Union on Aug. 25 and Winona on Sept. 1 in a pair of games against Class 2A schools before getting into division play.
Union was 10-4 last year, including a 32-14 win over Nanih Waiya in the season-opener; while Winona was 6-6 last season.
Nanih Waiya will put its 25-game, in-district winning streak on the line against one of its new district opponents on Sept. 8 when the Warriors host Hamilton, which went 2-8 a year ago.
A three-game stretch against a trio of familiar division opponents follows: Sept. 15 at Sebastopol; Sept. 22 at home against French Camp; and Sept. 29 at Leake County.
Sebastopol was 8-5 a year ago including a 56-0 loss to Nanih Waiya; FCA finished 5-8 including a 55-7 setback to the Warriors; and Leake County was 3-8 including a 48-14 loss to the Warriors.
Two new district opponents follow on Oct. 6 when the Warriors entertain West Lowndes and on Oct. 13 when they visit Vardaman.
West Lowndes was 8-4 last season, while Vardaman was 7-5.
Nanih Waiya will finish the regular season against three familiar foes: Oct. 20 at Ethel, Oct. 27 at Smithville, and Nov. 2 at home against Noxapater.
Ethel was 4-7 last season including a 54-0 loss to Nanih Waiya.
Smithville, meanwhile, has developed a nice little non-district rivalry with the Warriors in the past few years. The Seminoles went 11-3 last year, but one of those three losses was a 54-3 setback at the hands of Nanih Waiya.
And Noxapater, of course, is the end-of-the-season, Thursday-night, cross-swamp showdown for Nanih Waiya. Last year, the Tigers finished 7-6 in an injury-plagued season, including a 19-7 setback to the Warriors.
Nanih Waiya is coming off a 13-2 season in which the Warriors made the MHSAA Class 1A South State championship game. The Warriors have 12 straight winning seasons and 12 consecutive playoff appearances.