Finally, football season is upon us!

Each week, we here at Carter County Sports are going to take a look at keys and things to watch in the week’s slate of games. Here we go for Week 0!

Thursday’s Games
Volunteer at Happy Valley, 7:30 (Warrior Hill)
For the Warriors, standout running back Phillip Garland will need to pick up where he left off last season. Garland was the workhorse for Happy Valley last season, and this season doesn’t look any different.
Friday’s Games
Cloudland at Avery County (N.C.), 7:30  (Newland, NC)
The key for Cloudland will be to contain Avery quarterback Tre Jackson. Jackson has caught the eye of the Western North Carolina football scene as a dual threat QB, not to mention outstanding punter and kicker. The ‘Landers will counter with a potent offensive attack in Austin Whitehead, Zac Benfield and Colby Birchfield.
Hampton at Unicoi County, 7:30 (Erwin)
A more mature Hampton squad must contain one of the Three Rivers’ Conference prolific running backs in Phillip Fronckoski. The Bulldogs lost last season’s match-up in a shootout, and keeping the Unicoi running back in check will improve their chances of winning dramatically. With the talented running back duo of Adam McClain and Jerry Lunsford (not to mention a solid passing attack in Coby Jones and his receivers), this game could turn into a shootout once again.
Elizabethton at Daniel Boone, 7:30 (Gray)
For the Cyclones, this week is to see how standout running back Ethan Thomas bounces back from off-season surgery. Elizabethton was able to give younger players carries in the preseason and jamboree. However, a healthy Thomas will give the Cyclones a great shot at continuing the momentum from last season.
Unaka at Oliver Springs, 7:30 (Oliver Springs)
The young Rangers need to use this Friday’s game for more experience. During last Friday’s jamboree, Unaka showed their youth, and a road trip to Oliver Springs might be what the doctor order. However, Unaka must stay healthy as their depth is razor thin due to roster size.