Something begins, something ends
Something new begins in Mercer County with the creation of the Mercer County School District from what was Aledo and Westmer last year. Something ends as well as the Olympic Conference appears to be on its last leg this year. Knoxville has left the conference this year leaving only Farmington, Macomb, Monmouth-Roseville, Orion, Sherrard and Rockridge in its wake.
The familiar Green Dragons have been replaced by Golden Eagles. The Golden Eagles will take flight Saturday in their first contest under new head coach Nat Zunkel.
The Golden Eagles are coming off of a 10-2 season in 2008. Their first contest is Saturday afternoon, Aug. 29 against West Hancock in Hamilton.
Zunkel will bring his 'spread em and shread em' offence to the field as the Golden Eagles try to take flight.
Three of the Golden Eagles first four games this season are at home including a Sept. 25 match up against defending 3A state Champion Illini West. Illini West beat Aledo twice last year on its way to a state title. The Golden Eagles will also host Class 1A state runner up Stark County in the season finale Oct. 23.
United will open its season Friday night at West Central. Four of the Red Storm's first five games are on the road this season. Three of the final four are at home with the lone exception being an Oct. 9 match up with Mercer County.
The Rockridge Rockets football team opens its season at home against Princeton Friday night.
The Rockets won its opening game last year but lost the rest. Rockridge head coach Jeremy Adolphson has a lot more athleticism on the field this year and believes getting off to a quick start is the key to contending in the Olympic Conference. Macomb and Orion have been at the top of the conference in the recent past and Farmington and Monmouth-Roseville were playoff teams a year ago.
The Sherrard Tigers open the season at Kewanee this year. Four of the team's next five contests are at home before being on the road the final three weeks of the season.
At 4-5 the Tigers just missed the playoffs last year. Last year Sherrard won its first four contests of the season including an 18-13 win against league powerhouse Macomb.