Smith: Don't like the football predictions? Prove me wrong
I’m not the smartest guy when it comes to predictions.
Yes, I’ve gotten quite a few right on the gridiron, but when I’m wrong it’s definitely fun for the ones I misjudged. I remember picking Greene Central to beat Kinston on a podcast back in 2015 during the “Game of the Century” only for the Vikings to listen and pick up a 28-21 victory on the way to their best season in history.
I’ve seen Ayden-Grifton and North Lenoir players tell me “you got it wrong” here and there. Probably the best example came up last year when I tweeted Kinston-Greene Central history before their first-round playoff matchup and the Rams felt I was talking junk, prompting a 28-6 thrashing.
Bottom line: if you’re upset about my prediction, make me look stupid.
There’s plenty of talent on the gridiron and when it shows, preseason predictions look crazy. I usually like to wait until the third week of the season when I’ve got a solid grasp of teams, plus you can never tell what could occur throughout the year — new players take off, different strategies are put into play and (hopefully this doesn’t happen) the injury bug bites.
Either way, I want each school in the area to flourish — take predictions as motivation and if you don’t like what was said, show out on the field. I’ll do nothing but take my loss and appreciate the great play, nothing more or less.
Now, onto the opening-season slate of games for Friday:
Farmville Central at Kinston
The Vikings went to the Jaguar Den last season and won 27-22 with a strong first-half performance, but want to exact more revenge after 2016. The last time the teams met in Kinston, Farmville Central won 30-13 — something the Vikings haven’t forgotten.
Bunn at North Lenoir
The Hawks had the Wildcats beat last season on the road, but fell behind some iffy officiating and lost a 10-point lead with 3 minutes left in a 31-30 loss. The game ultimately prevented North Lenoir from making the playoffs and it certainly hasn’t been forgotten in The Swamp.
Arendell Parrott at Rocky Mount Academy
This will be the first of two regular-season matches between the teams participating in the 2017 NCISAA 2A title game and winners of the past four championships. The Patriots will look for first blood after falling 66-60 in an overtime loss in last year’s championship, preventing an unprecedented three-peat.
South Central at Greene Central
The Rams grounded the Falcons in 2015 and 2016, but South Central turned last year’s 14-14 game at halftime into a 45-27 victory. Greene Central will look to garner momentum back against a South Central team coming off its first 10-win season in more than a dozen years.
Chocowinity Southside at Ayden-Grifton
The Chargers were upended 26-0 in last season’s opener to the Seahawks, the beginning to a 1-2 start before reeling off five straight. Southside has been to the second round or further in the past four years, including a 2016 NCHSAA 1A championship appearance.
Jones Senior at Jacksonville Northside
The Trojans will look to snap a 12-game losing streak and exact some revenge against the 3A Monarchs on the road. It will be a tough task with Northside defeating Jones Senior 48-0 in last year’s season-opener and 44-0 in 2016. The Trojans did defeat the Monarchs in 2015, but it was via forfeit.
Open: Bethel Christian, South Lenoir