Local high school sports fans will have their first looks at some of the local fall sports teams this week. One of them isn’t even waiting that long.
Mount Airy’s boys’ soccer team opens its 2017 season this morning in the Warrior Jamboree, an event hosted by West Iredell High School for the last 24 years. Teams will play matches starting at 8 a.m. under scrimmage conditions, with the event lasting until roughly 8 p.m.
The Granite Bears will face Bandys at 8 a.m., North Lincoln at 11 and Carson at 1 p.m., all on the soccer practice field at West Iredell. Scrimmages will be conducted on all three fields at West Iredell during the course of the day. Forbush, Starmount and South Stokes are also among the teams scrimmaging at the event, but none of them will play against each other or against the Bears.
Admission is $5 per person. Concessions include cold drinks, fresh hot dogs and hamburgers, Chick-fil-A, and snacks.
Mount Airy soccer scrimmages a second time on Saturday, Aug. 12 at Hickory before starting the season Aug. 14 at North Wilkes.
All of the local football teams are waiting a few more days before putting the pads on and hitting someone else.
North Surry, Surry Central and East Surry will each have their first gridiron scrimmages on Wednesday, Aug. 9.
The Cardinals, who enter the season as three-time defending Northwest 1A Conference champs, received a scare on Tuesday when longtime head coach Dave Diamont was taken to the hospital prior to practice that morning, but received a clean bill of health and was back at the helm before the day was out. He will lead East Surry onto the field for the first time at 6 p.m. Wednesday at home against West Wilkes, then scrimmage again on Aug. 11 at Ashe County High School against that school and Lincolnton.
The defending Western Piedmont champs, coming off a record-setting 11-2 season, will clash helmets with Ashe County on Wednesday in Dobson, then travel to East Gaston on Friday. Surry Central will be eager to get in as much early work as possible, as the Golden Eagles suffered heavy graduation losses from last year’s outstanding team.
Mount Airy’s first football scrimmage will take place one day later, when the Bears travel to North Stanly for a Jamboree event against several other schools. On Saturday, Aug. 12, the team will cross the border to scrimmage at Galax.
North Surry will have both of its preseason events at home. On Wednesday, the Hounds host R.J. Reynolds at 6 p.m., then host North Wilkes two nights later, also at 6.
Mount Airy volleyball will host scrimmages in the Howard Finch Gym on both Thursday and Friday of next week before playing its first official match of the 2017 season on Monday, Aug. 14 at home against Elkin.
North Surry’s volleyball team, which last failed to win a conference title when the current Lady Hounds were still in elementary school, steps onto the hardwood for the first time on Thursday of next week, when the team will take part in a scrimmage event at Catawba College. North’s first official match is at home against East Surry on Aug. 15.
The Lady Hounds and Lady Cardinals are two of a number of local teams who will be jumping right into their seasons even before the official first day of school. Defending Northwest 1A Conference champion East Surry will be playing its eighth match on Aug. 28, the day school officially opens in Surry County. The Lady Cardinals open their season at home on Aug. 14 against Wilkes Central.
Surry Central volleyball will scrimmage to open their season as well, but the Lady Eagles’ debut will be against none other than Surry Central. The current Lady Eagles will host former Central spikers on Friday at 6 p.m. in an alumni game. On Aug. 16, they will open up at Wilkes Central.
North Surry soccer, which had its best-ever season in 2016, is under the leadership of a new coach for the third year in a row. However, there’s no questioning the new man’s winning credentials. Longtime Greyhound wrestling mentor Eric Jessup has assumed the reins of the soccer team, which opens its season Aug. 16 at home against South Stokes. The Hounds will play just three matches before the official opening of school, but have a very busy October slate.
East Surry opens its soccer season on Aug. 15 with a home match against North Wilkes. Surry Central also opens its soccer team that day, hosting Hibriten at 6:30.
The Mount Airy News will have previews and outlooks on many of these local teams in the days and weeks to come.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.