Week 2: Mercury rising

football_icon_greenBy Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

If it’s true that the best chance for improvement is from the first game to the second, now is the time.

In Week 2, conditioning is a big issue.

No. 5 Aberdeen will keep trying to acclimate to the near-100-degree temperatures, but on Friday, coach Mark Bray thought preparation already paid off in a 42-19 win at Shannon.

“We felt like going in, conditioning was going to be the major factor in the game and I think we came out a little ahead on that,” Bray said.

Teams spent the first two weeks of practice working in the heat, but the first weekend added some 10 degrees. The humidity never seemed to dip Friday, even after the sun did. The Bulldogs had only a few players suffer cramping.

Baldwyn coach Michael Gray mentioned after the Bearcats won at Nettleton that his guys were going to have to get in better shape.

In Fulton, the problem was holding on to the football. In an opener of ranked medium-school teams, the Indians turned it over five times and lost to Ripley.

“We’ve definitely got to fix this soon,” IAHS coach Toby Collums said.

Itawamba goes to New Albany, while Aberdeen hosts former offensive coordinator Kris Pickle and New Hope.

Keep an eye on

Booneville at Baldwyn: One of three Thursday games, this long-standing rivalry has been labeled the Skunk Bowl since a critter turned up on the sidelines in the 2012 game.

Falkner at Walnut: Tippah County’s annual Joe Bowl is also on Thursday.

Starkville at Oxford: On Friday, the No. 2 Chargers and No. 3 Jackets face off.

North Pontotoc at Ripley: North upset Bruce last week and will look to do the same against the Tigers, out top-ranked 4A/4A school.

brandon.speck@journalinc.com