SHERANDO AT PARK VIEW, 7:30
A nondistrict matchup between two of the area's most successful programs. Sherando advanced to its fourth consecutive Group AA Region II Division 4 final last season but has moved up to the Group AAA Commonwealth District this year. Park View won the AAA Liberty District title last year but has returned to the AA Northwestern District this season.
The last time these teams met was in 1995, the Patriots' last season in the AA Northwestern District. That year, Park View beat Sherando during the regular season, 14-8, but the Warriors got their revenge by winning the Region II Division 4 final, 23-9.
Park View has nine offensive starters back from last year's team that averaged 377 yards and 35 points per game. However, starting quarterback Nick Smith, who rushed for 1,041 yards and threw for 986 yards in 1998, is slowed by a sprained left ankle.
A side note: Les Cummings had been the athletic director at Sherando since the Stephens City school opened in 1993, before taking the same position at Park View this summer.
FAUQUIER AT LAFAYETTE, 7:30
Fauquier's first three games are against teams that advanced to the regional finals last season: Lafayette (AA Region I Division 4 champion), Liberty (AA Region II Division 4 champion) and Gar-Field (AAA Northwest Region Division 6 runner-up). Lafayette, in Williamsburg, is the first test, and the Rams will be a stiff challenge. "Coming off a 3-7 record last year, we have to make a good showing," Fauquier Coach Tom Ferrell said. "We've been working hard in practice, and that needs to show up in the game. We need to play well."
LOUDOUN COUNTY AT JEFFERSON COUNTY (W. Va.), 7:30
The Raiders face Jefferson, the fourth largest school in West Virginia, in their season opener. Loudoun County Coach Pat McManus isn't sure what to expect from his team, particularly on offense. An entirely new backfield will line up behind an offensive line that has just two returning starters. Sophomore quarterback Grant Harris started at defensive back last year, while junior fullback Chris Geaneas and junior running back Chris Hughes had a combined five carries for 48 yards last season. "Offensively, this will be a big test for us," McManus said. "It could set the tone for what we do this season. We have to find a way to score some points."