Friday Night Lights Returning Brings Excitement

The NFL regular season may not begin for another 11 days, but that doesn't mean we have to wait as long for the MPSSAA high school football season! The regular season, along with most other fall season sports, begins this Friday. All across the state of Maryland football teams will finally get the chance to step onto the gridiron and see what their team is made of. The new season brings a lot of excitement for different programs, and for different reasons.

This Friday, Northwest High School of Montgomery County will begin their defense of the 2014 MPSSAA 4A state championship. The Jaguars, who also won the 4A title in 2013, open against Gaithersburg on the road. Despite all of the team's accomplishments, Northwest has not gotten complacent and are firmly focused on the upcoming season.

"We hardly ever talk about the past. I don't think I've actually said the words 'state championship' to our team this year," head coach Mike Neubeiser said. "We just focus on getting better as individuals and as a team. My position coach in college use to always say 'take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.'"

In Carroll County, Westminster is extremely excited for the upcoming season. It is a new era for the Owls with head coach Matt Study taking over for longtime coach Brad Wilson. The Owls are also looking at a season with a lot of new opponents- no longer being a member of the now defunct Monocacy Valley Athletic League has allowed Westminster to create their own schedule, and play a lot of new teams. The Matt Study era begins this Friday at home against Bowie.

"There will be high emotions to finally get started. We need to stay composed and do what we do- stay disciplined and trust in one another," said Study. "We will have several storms to weather on Friday. As a team, we need to weather them and take advantage of the opportunities we are given."

In Baltimore City, Pat Nixon of Mervo is anxious to have the season start. The Mustangs had a magical 2014 season, going 9-0 in the regular season before losing to Paint Branch in the first round of the playoffs. Last year was Mervo's first winning season since 2008, and the Mustangs are eager to prove that 2014 was no fluke. Mervo opens at home against South Hagerstown this Friday.

"We are in unfamiliar territory. We've always been overlooked so to speak and have been able to creep up on people. This year, people are gunning for us a bit more and are expecting more from us," said Nixon. "It is a little nerve-racking because we set a pretty high standard last year, but we want surpass that this year. That is the expectation I have for myself, my staff and my ballplayers- we want to take it to the next level this year in terms of having success in the postseason, and we know that starts with having a good Week 1."
September 2nd, 2015By: Wick Eisenberg

County Sports Zone provides the schedules, scores and standings for 208 public high schools across Maryland, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
We post the score of every game - varsity, junior varsity, freshman - by 11 o’clock every night.