OPINION: Friday in Monroe County means much more than A-Game

The A -Game is not the only game in town, right H-Game?
Friday in Monroe County is going to be one of those times in life when you wish you could be in more than one place at a time.
For one reason, it’s A-Game week. The annual A-Game between Amory and Aberdeen is in Amory on Friday and the Panthers will be looking to retain the A-Trophy they won last season in Aberdeen.
Here’s the beautiful thing about this season though. There’s actually a game in Hatley that may make the choice tough when some of you are planning your night.
And since the A-Guys get a whole section to themselves in this issue of the Monroe Journal, here’s some much deserved air time for another county rivalry.
Hatley is 3-0 and next hosts Hamilton, which has started the season at 0-2. Don’t let that 0-2 fool you. The Lions are one point and a questionable penalty or two away from 2-0. You’ll see my picks below, but let me go ahead and explain why I’m taking Hamilton in this one.
I know it looks like the perfect storm has brewed for this to be the year that Hatley beats county rivals Hamilton and Smithville. Here’s why it’s not going to happen this week.
Hatley, which is better than a lot of you are still giving it credit for, is catching the Lions at a bad time. If you watched Hamilton on Friday, you saw somewhat of a coming out party for sophomore quarterback Austin Welch. Two major targets have developed with Kevin McCartney and Collin Sanders and Welch looks as comfortable as any signal caller around.
The perfect storm would have had to include a Hamilton win against Nettleton on Friday. Had the Lions won that game, I honestly would proably take Hatley in an upset, and yes it would still be considered an upset. That didn’t happen and I’m taking the Lions. They’re starting to click and Hatley isn’t quite ready for the types of threats they pose.
To Hatley’s credit, it’s a major step to even be discussing a possible win against Hamilton. The program is making visible strides. The players believe they can compete with everyone on their schedule and I think they can too. I just don’t think they have the Lions’ number this time around.
Hey, it’s just an opinion. Feel free to prove me wrong. Smithville already did that once this season.

The rest of my calls
– After a 3 for 4 showing in Week 3, here goes a valiant Week 4 try.

Aberdeen at Amory
– Both coming off losses, I’m taking the Bulldogs to return the 2008 favor.
Speck says: Aberdeen
Smithville at Mantachie
– May the better team win and that ain’t Mantachie.
Speck says: Smithville

Hamilton at Hatley
– See explanation above.
Speck says: Hamilon

Nettleton at Caledonia
– Because me, you and your baby sister could outscore the Class 4A Confederates.
Speck says: Nettleton

Brandon Speck is the sports editor of the Monroe Journal. He can be reached at (662) 256-5647 or brandon.speck@monroe360.com.

Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal

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