There are no lack of juicy story lines as another season of high school football rapidly approaches.
Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy have new coaches in Rick Rios and Dave Pappada, who have replaced the fired D.J. Dota and the retired Tony Napolet, respectively. Dota quickly landed at West Branch.
Howland is coming off an unbeaten regular season and again has the area's best running back, junior De'Veon Smith.
Niles coach Brad Yeager is back for a third season after a tumultuous offseason in which he had a job, didn't have a job, then got it back again. This Red Dragons team figures to be the best group Yeager has had.
Ursuline is without Mr. Football Akise Teague, but is chasing a fourth consecutive state championship under coach Dan Reardon.
Southington (Ryan Slone), Struthers (Mark Asher) and Windham (Brian Kiser) all have new coaches.
Brookfield has a really big man on campus in 6-foot-10, 370-pound Aaron Gillis, who transferred from Badger. Gillis has no varsity football experience, but his size and potential have caught the eyes of some college coaches even before playing a down.
These are just a few of the story angles Tribune Chronicle sportswriters and correspondents covered in our annual high school football preview, which went to print late last week. The 120-page, full-color magazine will be available later this week.
Your first chance to get a copy will come Thursday, when the Tribune Chronicle and WBBW ESPN 1240-AM plan to sponsor a live remote broadcast at the Panera Bread location on Elm Road. It's the first official tailgate party of the 2011 season.
Ryan Alessio and Christian Aleshire, of the Ryan and Christian Show, will broadcast live from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the chief topic will be high school football. Copies of the newspaper's preview will be available at the discounted rate of $3.95, $1 off the newstand price.
Members of the Tribune Chronicle sports staff also will be on hand to talk about some of the biggest story lines of the season to come.
OPEN DATE: At last report, Howland still has an open date for Week 10. The Tigers were originally scheduled to host Chaney, but the Youngstown school announced it was dropping its sports programs in the spring.
Coach Dick Angle said Howland had talked with Jefferson, which also had an opening in the final week of the regular season, but an agreement could not be reached. The Falcons, oddly enough, also had a contract to play Chaney that week.
Falcons coach Jim Henson said Jefferson will host Pittsburgh Academy in Week 10.
Howland is still looking for an opponent.
"We'll probably keep looking into the third or fourth week of the season," Angle said.
He said the search for an opponent could extend to New York, Pennsylvania or even Canada.