Football is back and this Friday, Boling, Wharton and East Bernard will play their first game of the season. For Wharton and East Bernard, both teams will be looking to defend their district championship, Boling will try and make a return to the playoffs. The brand of football these teams play differs, but each school will face tough competition throughout the season.
Below is the best game for each of the 11 weeks of upcoming football season in the Wharton Journal-Spectator coverage area.
Week one: 8-30-19
Wharton vs Sealy (road)
A battle between two district champions. Wharton returns their starting quarterback but lost senior weapons who graduated. Wharton will get a good early test to see where they are against a defense that gave up around 15 points a game last season.
Week two: 9-6-19
East Bernard vs Hitchcock (home)
Hitchcock's quarterback/defensive back Pacey Jones could end up playing for a D1 school following this season. If not for a failed two-point conversion, Hitchcock would have beaten East Bernard last year. East Bernard played 15 games last season and only three teams scored more than 15 points against them, Hitchcock was one of them.
Week three: 9-13-19
East Bernard vs Boling (in East Bernard)
The Battle for Wharton County is always a fun game. Last year Boling had a down year, but the Bulldogs won't struggle for long. Now that the two teams aren't in the same division anymore the game won't determine district champion, but it will give the winner bragging rights.
Week four: 9-20-19
Wharton vs El Campo (home)
The second-ever game on Wharton's new turf field will be a match up with heated rivals in El Campo. After a decade-plus losing streak, Wharton got to celebrate on El Campo's field. Will Wharton's offense be able to stun El Campo once more and extend their win into a winning streak.
Week five: 9-27-19
Wharton vs Cuero (road)
The state champions will be no easy test even without their all-world player in Jordan Whittington who graduated and is now with the Longhorns. Wharton will also have to travel to face Cuero. This will be Wharton's last test before district play.
Week six: 10-4-19
East Bernard vs Tidehaven (home)
Last season East Bernard not only beat them in the regular season but also in the fourth round of the playoffs. Tidehaven will be coming to East Bernard and it will feature a playoff-like atmosphere. The game could determine the district championship as well.
Week seven: 10-11-19
Boling vs Hempstead (home)
After a brutal non-district schedule Boling will face Hempstead for their district game of the year. Boling had one win in district last year and that was over Hempstead.
Week eight: 10-18-19
Wharton vs Sweeny (road)
Last year Sweeny rolled through teams throughout the first part of their schedule until they played Wharton. At home, Wharton eked out the two-point win propelling them to the eventual district championship. District 11 is not filled with many competitive teams and this likely will be the de facto championship game.
Week nine: 10-25-19
Boling vs Palacios (home)
The fourth seed of the playoffs District 13 came down to one fourth-quarter score between Boling vs Palacios last season. Boling on the road was on the losing end, this year Palacios will be making the drive.
Week 10: 11-1-19
East Bernard vs Danbury (home)
Danbury over the years has not provided much resistance against East Bernard. East Bernard has beaten them the past three seasons by a combined score of 195 to 36. This may or may not be a competitive game, but it will be the last chance to see East Bernard at home in 2018.
Week 11: 11-8-19
Boling vs Columbus (road)
Columbus last year nearly won the district championship, but Rice Consolidated pulled out the win by three points. Boling a week later came one score shy of not only beating Columbus. In the final week of the season, this game could have big playoff implications.