FREDERICKTOWN — There’s nothing like a major challenge to start the season.
Scores, stories, photos and videos of the local teams from the 2011 season.
And for the Fredericktown and Highland football teams, they’d like it no other way.
The Freddies and Scots will face off on opening night once again this Friday at 7 p.m. at Fredericktown High School. Both teams are fresh off playoff appearances a year ago, but that’s not necessary for this backyard rivalry to be a dogfight.
“It’s always a big game. Our communities are so close and a lot of our kids know their kids,” said Highland coach Chad Carpenter. “Anytime you have two really close communities like that, there’s a good chance the schools can develop into great rivals. It’s really important for both our teams to start out with a win. You add that with the fact there’s been some real good games over the years, and this has developed into a nice little rivalry.”
“We’re real excited to get back to this — to show that we have this new 2011 football team,” said Fredericktown coach Brian Baum. “We’ve been looking forward to Highland all summer and the kids have been working hard for that. It’s an important game right off the bat. It’s a great test week one every year.”
Both teams lost some key performers from last year’s playoff teams, but there’s still plenty of talent on both benches — especially at the skill positions.
Fredericktown, which made it to the Division V state semifinals a year ago, return News’ area leading ground gainer Matt Smith. The junior running back gained 1,695 yards on less than 200 carries last fall, good enough for nearly 9 yards a carry.