Most people thought this would be the year that MRA dethrones the Prep-JA dynasty in Academy AAA-I. An exciting offense, you add a Dandy Dozen caliber RB from a top 6A squad, and get some linebacker help from another 6A squad. Result: a 38-7 beatdown by Prep. And Prep could have beaten them 60-0. Defense at MRA was a problem last year - its worse this year. The offense looked out of sync as well, but will recover against lesser competition. MRA will still win 8 or 9 games and make the playoffs, but a first round exit at the hands of Prep is probably in the cards.
2. Metro 5A Teams Shine
Pearl destroyed a much improved 6A Vicksburg 49-7. Ridgeland goes down and beats a solid 4A contender in Mendenhall 27-20. And Callaway, who has more talent than any other JPS team, knocks off Northwest Rankin in their opener. With Starkville getting blown out by Noxubee, could this be the year that a Pearl or Ridgeland-type makes it to the championship game? The last non-1A metro team to make it to Jackson? Clinton in 2000.
3. Olive Branch is Ready for a Repeat
Madison Central has a good team and they could not get it going against the Quistors last night. South Panola will be a challenge, that's for sure, but Olive Branch showed last night that they will have to be dethroned.