After Panama gave us an appetizer in its loss to Gore Thursday (see STORY), the remaining LeFlore County teams open Friday night.
After weeks of practice and a pair of scrimmages, the teams are set to kick off the 2012 season with most of the action on the road.
Bokoshe, which hosts Okay, is the only LeFlore County team at home for Friday.
The other six teams will try to win their openers on the road.
Poteau steps up a class as the Pirates make a lengthy trip down to Bryan County to take on Durant. Poteau is in Class 4A while Durant is a 5A school.
The game is the first of two road contests against bigger schools for the Pirates as they visit Van Buren next week.
Poteau has some momentum heading into its opener after good performances in both scrimmages against Catoosa and Tulsa Memorial, along with last week’s skirmish against Mena.
Spiro has perhaps the toughest opener as the Bulldogs visit a powerful Vian team which is ranked either at the top or near the top of Class 2A.
After missing out on the playoffs last year, Spiro is hoping to rebound from a 4-6 record with a veteran team featuring several returning starters.
But Spiro will have a tough opener against the Wolverines, which were undefeated in the regular season last year and have a veteran roster featuring two Top 100 players in Oklahoma.
Heavener opens with a new coach (Carl Lee) and a different philosophy as the Wolves cross the state line to visit Union Christian at Fort Smith.
The Wolves are spreading out the offense and trying to throw the ball, a totally different look for Heavener. The Wolves return many members of a big line and feature Blake Smittle, one of the better backs in the county after rushing for over 1,000 yards last year.
Pocola travels to Tulsa to meet Regent Prep, which is only in its second year of playing varsity football.
After missing the playoffs for the first time in several years, Talihina opens at Wilburton in a game featuring two old rivals. The two schools were both in the same 2A district the last two years before the Tigers dropped to Class A this season.
Arkoma will try to build on last year’s success as the Mustangs visit Keota. The Mustangs finished 9-2 last year and will be introducing several new starters against Keota.