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For Nolan Countyâ€™s three area football teams, success in their season openers will mean winning on the road.
For two of them â€” Roscoe and Highland â€” it will also be a chance to avenge a loss in their season opener against the same opponent this past year.
Todayâ€™s game at De Leon will also mark the head coaching debut for Roscoeâ€™s Jake Freeman, who returned to his home town after being an assistant at Sweetwater the past four years.
Freeman â€” a standout player for the Plowboys in the mid-to-late 1990s be-fore starting his coaching career â€” takes over a pro-gram that lost to De Leon 38-6 in last yearâ€™s opener and has won only two games in the past two years.
However, he is confident that Roscoe is on its way back to regaining its former glory that saw 13 straight playoff appearances from 1998-2010 and made one of two trips to the Class 1A state finals in 1995, when Freeman â€” a 1997 graduate â€” was on the team.
Highland wonâ€™t start its season until Saturday when the Hornets take on Motley County starting at 8 p.m. in Jayton. Saturdayâ€™s game will be the finale of Jaytonâ€™s Gridiron Classic.
The Hornets lost to Mot-ley County 60-12 when they opened their 2012 season at the same event last year. It will be another tough as-signment this year as Mot-ley County is ranked No. 10 in Division II Six-Man by Sixmanfootball.com.
Highland finished 5-5 this past year under coach Jeff Shelton, who is begin-ning his third season as the Hornetsâ€™ head coach. High-land comes is ranked No. 29 in Division I Six-Man by Sixmanfootball.com.
Blackwell opens today at Westbrook, where it won 54-6 this past year in what was the debut of head coach Clint Lowry. That victory helped spark the Hornets to their first playoff appear-ance in four years.
Blackwell is ranked No. 18 in Division II Six-Man by Sixmanfootball.com.