That time of year

Published 10:46 pm Monday, August 26, 2013

The unseasonably cool, crisp nights of late were timed perfectly to usher in a new season of high school and college football.

It’s hard to get in the football mood in these parts most years, when summertime heat and humidity are known to linger deep into September. Not so this late August, which has featured a few days and nights that were downright autumn-like.

Area high school teams kick off the season Thursday and Friday nights, followed by a full slate of college action on Saturday.

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On the prep ledger, Lakeland travels to Norfolk on Friday to face Norcom. Nansemond River hosts Kecoughtan of Hampton in the only home contest for a Suffolk team this weekend. King’s Fork opens at Deep Creek in Chesapeake on Thursday, and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy makes the long trek to Dumfries, near Quantico, to take on Pope John Paul the Great High School.

Be sure to get a copy of our preseason Football Edition in Friday’s News-Herald to get the inside scoop on your favorite high school team.

We’re pleased to announce that Duke Automotive will partner with us this year to sponsor our increasingly popular Athlete of the Week award, which will debut Sunday, Sept. 8, and continue not just through football season but the entire 2013-14 high school sports year. Each week, you the fans will select the Player of the Week from a list of deserving nominees from Suffolk high schools who have excelled on the playing fields. Stay tuned for more details, including a list of the first week’s nominees this coming Sunday.

College football fans are also juiced about a new season. Old Dominion will make its debut in the Football Bowl Subdivision on Saturday with a trip to Greenville, N.C., to face East Carolina. Virginia Tech gets the unenviable task of tangling with defending national champion Alabama on Saturday in Atlanta. Virginia hosts Brigham Young in Charlottesville as Mike London looks to get his team back on track after a disappointing 2012 season. Norfolk State hosts Maine in the Virginia Lottery Labor Day Classic.

Despite slightly warmer temperatures over the next few days, the weekend forecast is looking pleasant, at least as Labor Day weekends go: highs in the mid-80s and lows in the mid-60s. That’s a little on the warm side for the guys in the helmets and shoulder pads, but it’s not bad at all for us fans. We encourage you to get out and support the team of your choice.