Nobody asked me but...I got my crystal ball out and the area high school football season has been laid out before me.
The games start next week and I will lay it out before they play it out.
Class 4, District 1 has been won by West Plains the last two seasons. I am still wondering why MSHSAA continues to let a team from the state of Kansas compete in the Missouri playoffs, but that is another item for another day.
The Zizzers will be led by quarterback Tyler Schmitt who can beat you with his arm or with his legs. West Plains appears to be the favorite in the district with many players returning on both sides of the ball.
Poplar Bluff will return the quarterback-receiver duo of Asa Wyatt and Nick Stith. Wyatt threw for close to 2,000 yards to lead the area last season. Stith had 53 receptions for over 1,100 and had 11 receiving touchdowns, which led the area in all three categories.
Cape Central will return running back Hakeem Hammonds who netted close to 1,000 yards and had eight touchdowns last season.
Sikeston returns a lot of their skilled position players and after last season's disappointing 1-9 record, the Bulldogs are looking to play the ole' Bob Marley classic, "Redemption Song," and find redemption in the new season.
Many were impressed with Sikeston's scrimmage last Friday. Look for the Bulldogs to surprise a few teams this year and notch more wins this season.
Personally, I would love for the Bulldogs to capture the district crown. But I just don't see that happening this year. Baby steps, Bulldog fans, baby steps. Look for West Plains to take the title for a third year in a row back to Kansas.
* Class 2, District 1 is going to be a dog fight this year with Charleston moving into the district with East Prairie, Caruthersville and Malden.
The district is loaded with quality running backs in Kendrickus Reed of the Tigers, Paris Tipler of the Eagles, Joseph Watts of the Bluejays and Ryan Criglar of Malden.
Reed led the area last season with over 2,100 yards. Tipler ran for over 1,750 yards and led the area with 31 touchdowns. Watts was fourth in the area with over 1,370 yards, while Criglar had over 1,000 yards on the ground and over 500 yards receiving.
Caruthersville is defending champions and return several key skilled players led by Reed, along with receiver Rashad Fields and running back Aaron Borders.
Charleston is the newcomer and big things are expected this season after last year's fiasco against Crystal City in district play. The Bluejays have a ton of talent in receiver Jamarcus Williams and quarterback Justin Clark, but can they pull it all together when it counts? Charleston looked a little flat in last week's scrimmage but it is early. Very early.
East Prairie has Tipler and tight end Tony Jones leading the way on offense, but offense wasn't the problem last year. Can the Eagles defense be more than a speed bump this year?
Malden has plenty of speed on the team as many were on the state champion track team last spring. The big question for Malden and most of the District 1 teams is offensive and defensive line play. The line that can gel well together will be the superior team.
My gut wants to say that Charleston will win the district, but after last year's district meltdown against Crystal City, I just don't know. I'll take a wait-and-
see approach on them.
I'll go with a team that's been there. Caruthersville will be the last team standing.
* The Dexter Bearcats are the returning champs in Class 3, District 1 and look to be primed for another run against New Madrid County Central, Kennett and Perryville.
Perryville returns a majority of players off a 0-10 season.
The district will come down between Dexter and NMCC in the final week of the season. Dexter has a ton of talent coming back, but for some reason my crystal ball envisions an eagle soaring over a Bearcat. Crazy.
*Some more predictions sure to go wrong by the end of the season...
Tipler will lead the area in rushing with over 2,200 yards and will win the Carr Trophy for best player in the area.
The Chaffee Red Devils will end their losing streak that has reached 34 games and will not only win a game this year, but will win three.
East Prairie head coach Corey Adkisson will be the coach of the year for the Standard Democrat coverage area.
My NAMB lineman of the year will be Patrick Guest of NMCC.
And finally, nobody asked me but...before the hate mail rolls in, don't blame me. I am just a messenger. If one must blame, please blame the crystal ball.