High school pick five: marquee home games

Published 9:05 pm Monday, August 11, 2014

Nothing beats cheering your favorite team under those glorious Friday night lights. Some fans will travel hours to watch their school of choice on the gridiron, but others like to remain close to home to eliminate the long drive home.

This list caters to both sets of fans. The five games, one from each school in The Messenger coverage area, listed below are must-see games of the home slate. If you can only make it to five games this fall, these are the ones you need to check out.

8/29 – Daleville at Charles Henderson – Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy

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The 2014 season will have drama right out of the gate as Brad McCoy’s old team comes calling on his new team. McCoy was let go as head coach of the Warhawks during the spring of 2014, and landed at Charles Henderson in mid-June.

During his time at Daleville, McCoy led the Warhawks to a 34-19 record and three trips to the AHSAA playoffs.

The Trojans will want to make a statement in their first game back in 5A, and Daleville will want to play well against its former coach.

It is hard to get a good atmosphere for high school games at Veterans Memorial Stadium because of the size of the venue. However, the excitement level for both teams and fan bases will have the stadium rocking in week one.

10/31 – Brantley at Goshen – The Eagles’ Nest, Goshen

The regular season finale for both teams will be a knock down, drag out affair. If you want to see what small town, tradition rich high school football is all about, make your way to the woods of western Pike County for the final game of the regular season.

Brantley is the premier 1A team in the state, and Goshen will be looking for momentum as it could possibly enter the playoffs for a seventh straight season.

The sun sets over the pasture during pregame warm-ups late in the year so get to the stadium early to find a seat and immerse yourself in the atmosphere. Just 19 miles of two-lane back roads separate the two towns. The crowd will be large and loud.

9/26 – Luverne at Pike County – Bulldog Stadium, Brundidge

When the Bulldogs are playing well, there is no other stadium in the state of Alabama that can come close to the atmosphere of the Dawg Pound. The fans come in droves to watch their Bulldogs play at the intersection of Caldwell and Bowden.

The Tigers and Bulldogs have played every year since 2008, and 21 times total. Luverne has dominated the series historically, but the two teams are even in the last two years.

Luverne will once again be a favorite in 2A, and with the Bulldogs barking again in 3A, this mid-season clash will be one you won’t want to miss.

9/5 – Monroe Academy at Pike Liberal Arts – Delaney Kervin Stadium, Troy

Monroe Academy is the cream of the crop in AISA. The Volunteers have won 12 state titles, averaging a championship every four years. Monroe has one at least 10 games a season in each of the last six years.

Pike is better than it has been in a long time, and could make a statement with a win over the Vols.

Bleacher seating is tight at Kervin Stadium, but bring a lawn chair, sit on the hill and enjoy one of the more anticipated AISA games of the 2014 season.

10/10 – New Brockton at Zion Chapel – Greene Memorial Stadium, Jack

The Rebels and Gamecocks just flat out don’t like each other. The two schools are divided by a cross-county rivalry that dates back to 1975, and has been played every year since.

Greene Memorial Stadium is an intimate environment that puts the fans seemingly right on top of the action. This small town rivalry is one you need to see.