High schools are starting to enter the heart of their 2016 football seasons, meaning several local teams are beginning district play this week.
Central and Warren County both kick off Bull Run District competition this Friday, while Stonewall Jackson begins play in the Shenandoah District. Two teams, Skyline and Strasburg, are off this week.
Here’s a look at the six local high school football games on tap this Friday:
Page County (2-1) at Stonewall Jackson (0-3), 7 p.m.: Stonewall Jackson, coming off a bye week, owns a lengthy winning streak over the Panthers, including a 51-24 win last season in what has been the only victory for second-year head coach Jay Goode. Page County, which has won back-to-back games over Nelson County and Rappahannock County, has scored over 50 points in each of its last two games, while the Generals have given up at least 40 points in that same span.
Warren County (1-2) at Madison County (2-1), 7 p.m.: Warren County is coming off a 35-14 loss to unbeaten Brentsville last Friday night, a game that was tied heading into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats managed only 129 yards of offense in the loss and will need to find more production to keep pace with a Mountaineer squad averaging 43 points per game.
Jefferson (West Virginia) (1-2) at Sherando (1-3), 7 p.m.: Sherando finds itself in very unfamiliar territory after falling short in a close game for the third time in its first four contests with a 35-28 loss at Eastern View last week. The Warriors have already fallen dangerously behind in the Group 4A playoff race and will need to get back on track against the Cougars, who are coming off their first win of the season with a 40-32 victory over Hedgesville (West Virginia). The Cougars are allowing 38 points per game.
Clarke County (2-1) at Central (2-1), 7:30 p.m.: In what could be an early fight for supremacy in the Bull Run District, Central hosts an Eagles team coming off an appearance in the Group 2A state championship game in 2015. The Falcons, who haven’t beaten Clarke County since 2012, fell to Turner Ashby, 55-31, last week.
Massanutten Military Academy (0-4) at Fishburne (1-1), 4 p.m.: The struggles continued for MMA last week as the Colonels fell at home to Northern Virginia HomeSchool, 25-6, in what was their most competitive game this season. Fishburne is coming off a bye following a 48-0 loss to Roanoke Catholic, a team that beat MMA 83-6 earlier this season.
Randolph-Macon Academy (1-1) at Hargrave Military Academy (1-2), 7 p.m.: R-MA is coming off a bye following a come-from-behind 41-35 win over St. Anne’s-Belfield (STAB) two weeks ago. Hargrave, which fell to STAB 32-27 in its season opener, picked up its first win of the season last week with a 38-13 win over Covenant.
Sherando will be the first local school to enter the golf postseason this week as the six-team Conference 21 West tournament is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club in Front Royal.
Sherando will get one final tune-up in the form of a Northwestern District mini-tournament (which also includes Skyline) today, also held at Blue Ridge Shadows. The Warriors should be plenty familiar with that course by Thursday, as they competed in a conference mini there last Thursday, when they finished four strokes back of 2015 conference champion Woodgrove for the team title. Sherando senior Brett Loy, last year’s Conference 21 West champ, carded the top score last week.
“We’re always close to Woodgrove,” Warriors head coach Rob Wright said. “We’re staying in there. I just need to get the four good, solid scores one time and hopefully (at) conference they’ll do that.”
Plenty of local cross country teams will be in action this weekend, as Central, Sherando, Skyline and Strasburg will compete in Stonewall Jackson’s home invitational on Saturday morning. Sherando swept the boys and girls races at the Stonewall Jackson Invitational last season, and Warriors sophomore Camryn Ubert will look to defend her individual title.
There is a trio of local vs. local matches this week, including tonight’s game between Stonewall Jackson and Central in Woodstock. Central (1-6) picked up a 3-1 win over the Generals (0-7) on Aug. 29, the first win for the Falcons since 2014.
Central also travels to Warren County (5-5) on Thursday, while Sherando (4-5) hosts Skyline (2-7) that same day.
Tuesday features three conference volleyball matches as Central hosts George Mason and Strasburg hosts Clarke County in Conference 35 action, and Skyline hosts Brentsville in Conference 28.
JMU (2-1) opens Colonial Athletic Association competition with a road trip to Maine for a noon contest on Saturday. The Dukes are seeking to bounce back from a 56-28 loss to FBS foe North Carolina last week.
Shenandoah University (2-1) is off this week before opening Old Dominion Athletic Conference play with a Thursday night game against Randolph-Macon College on Sept. 29.
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or email@example.com