By Zach Womble for The Connection
Week 1: White House Heritage vs. White House at City Park
White House vs. White House Heritage. Those words alone get each fan base pumped up with pride. One team has the opportunity to extend bragging rights one more season while the other team is vying for respect. Both teams are inexperienced in several key positions, but that just means someone will step up to make the plays needed to give their team the best chance at victory. White House prevailed last season with a convincing 28-7 victory. This season is a new animal. Austin Gunter leads a Patriot offense that may end up being more potent than advertised. Wide-out Nick DesMarais has done nothing but impress all off-season – leaving coaches wondering what if he had played all four seasons. I was concerned with his physicality only because I had never seen him have to use it. Boy has he put that to rest. Gunter and DesMarais will pair up for many touchdowns this season and I expect that to start in game one. Chris Rippy has shown his speed on the edge and ability to make house calls, so expect him to be a heavy influence in Hicks’ offense. It would be malpractice not to mention his ability to cover. The senior defensive back has been given the title “Rippy Island”. Expect teams to test him this season, and expect Rippy to pass with flying colors. It all starts with a win over White House.
For the Blue Devils, Austin Hoffman, Danny Stout and Dawson Bubalough need to bring their A game. As the only returning starters from last year, White House will lean heavily on their big boys in the trenches. Whether it is causing havoc or keeping their quarterback upright, line play will be a major key. Andrew Nixon looks to get the start at quarterback. He will not be alone in the backfield as plenty of guys like Preston Long, Connor Holder, Jordan Schaffer and Will Frazier have all shown the ability to make big plays this off-season. Listen, Jeff Porter is no stranger to roster depletion. I don’t expect him to have trouble as the season progresses and I expect his boys to fight hard in this game. Who will claim the crown as champions of White House?
My pick: WH Heritage 28, White House 21