High School Predictions – Week 1

On top of my college predictions that I do every week, this year I am going to do some NFL and high school predictions as well. With high school football season starting this week, I will kick it off here predicting some of the best games in the Birmingham area.

I will pick 14 of the Metro area 6A and 7A schools in their games. Those schools are (in no order):

Hoover
Homewood
Mountain Brook
Vestavia Hills
Briarwood
Thompson
Pelham
John Carroll
Clay-Chalkville
Hewitt-Trussville
Gardendale
Oak Mountain
Chelsea
Spain Park

There are other schools you might think belong in this list, but this basically encompasses all of the major school systems in the Birmingham Metro area, along with a couple of key private schools. These are all schools I am familiar with as well, therefore can make educated predictions. I will also pick the AHSAA Game of the Week that will be featured on the NFHS Network with Jerry Young, Max Howell, and Aaron Daniel.

So here is week one, where most teams are taking on non-region schools or are just playing jamborees. I haven’t included any jamboree matches as they are preseason, and are treated as such. There are also a couple of teams electing to take the week off to prepare for next week. All teams will be in action by next week. Obviously there are no lines due to it being high school, so all picks are straight up.

Week One

(Winners in bold)

Miami Central (FL) at Hoover (Saturday)

This will definitely be the game of the week, probably for the whole country. It will be on ESPN at 11 am CST on Saturday, August 23. It is the first of a double header with Clay/Niceville. I see Hoover winning a tough one here. Miami Central is a solid team, and finished in the top 5 last year in the country in a lot of polls. Hoover will look to make a statement, and perhaps move to first in the country.

Hoover -3

Homewood at Decatur

Homewood has a bit of rebuilding to do on it’s offensive line, and I’m very interested (as a two-time state champion lineman from Homewood myself) to see what they do. Decatur is a good team, and I imagine them to be about on the same level as Homewood this year in 6A – making the playoffs, but not good enough to really make a run at the title. Could be a 6A North playoff preview.

Homewood -5

Thompson at Wetumpka

This should be a pretty good game. Thompson is heading to the 7A region of doom, but will first get a crack at a rematch against Wetumpka from last year. The two were region foes due to the weird and messed up regions of the last two years. Now Wetumpka is in 6A Region 2 with teams closer to their area such as Stanhope-Elmore, Russell County, and Carver-Montgomery. While I do see Wetumpka as a playoff team, this game will say a lot about them. I think it will be Thompson on top here in a close, physical game.

Thompson -5

Clay-Chalkville vs. Niceville (FL) (Saturday, at Hoover)

Unforunately, I don’t know about Clay winning this game. This isn’t near as big of a match-up as Hoover/Miami is, but it’s still a good game for Clay to get some outside experience before playing in-state teams. I think they have a strong chance to win their region, and even make it far in the playoffs, but this should be a tougher game for the Cougars.

Niceville -3

Austin at Spain Park (AHSAA Game of the Week)

Spain Park is back in action in the 7A region of doom, but more importantly, they are now in a position to play Hoover again. I’m not saying they will do well against Hoover, or even make the playoffs, but I think this first game should be a solid win for them. Austin will be coming down from north Alabama and 6A Region 8, and will put up a decent fight, but just can’t win this one.

Spain Park -7

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And there you have it, my high school predictions for week one of the season. Don’t forget there are actually 11 weeks of the regular season, so sometimes the teams I’m picking will be off.

Make sure to watch the AHSAA Game of the Week on the NFHS Network each Friday night as my partners in crime – Aaron, Jerry and Max – will bring you all the action each week.

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Jon Lunceford is a sports media broadcaster and digital professional. Jon is a graduate of the University of Alabama school of journalism, and played football at Birmingham-Southern College. He has also won two AHSAA Football State Championships while at Homewood High School and was a two-time World Cyber Games Team USA representative. He currently hosts Primetime on WJOX 94.5 and runs the high school athletics site JoxPreps.