The limited number of available playing dates, the one game per week routine and tradition dictate that nearly every football team jumps right into action on the first available game day, based on Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.
Friday is that day, not just for football teams around the state, but also for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country, girls volleyball and field hockey.
Of the 33 football teams in District 2, 30 will kick off off their seasons at the same time, with games scheduled Friday night at 7.
There also will be some non-league openers in the other sports that arrive at their first playing date.
Only Montrose, which has a reduced schedule, and Susquehanna and Holy Redeemer, which meet in a game at King’s College Saturday night, will not be part of the Friday football festivities.
The game that sends Scranton Prep to Lakeland for a meeting of state-ranked teams highlights the schedule.
Both teams won Lackawanna Football Conference division titles last season.
Three games will feature coaching debuts.
Mike Bennett leads Berwick, his alma mater, in a home game against defending state Class 2A champion Southern Columbia.
Jake Manetti makes his debut as West Scranton coach in a game at Riverside.
Jason Majiros is the new head coach at Hanover Area, which hosts Holy Cross as part of an opening schedule that is heavy on games sending LFC teams against Wyoming Valley Conference opponents.
Abington Heights is at Dallas, Lake-Lehman is at Western Wayne, Nanticoke is at Carbondale, Valley View is at Crestwood, Wyoming Valley West is at North Pocono and Wilkes-Barre Area is at Scranton in other LFC-vs.-WVC matchups. The Saturday night game is another opener that will fit that description.
Scranton Prep at Lakeland is one of two games that send teams in the Gaughan Auto Store Super Six Power Rankings, determined by our partners at NEPAFootball.com, against each other. The Cavaliers are top-ranked and the Chiefs are No. 2.
In the other game, No. 6 Dunmore goes to No. 3 Old Forge.
The rest of the Friday football schedule for District 2 team has Mid Valley at Lackawanna rail, Honesdale at Wallenpaupack, Delaware Valley at Mosley, Fla., Tunkhannock at Wyoming Area and Hazleton Area at Pittston Area.
The boys soccer schedule has three games, including Wyoming Valley West at Delaware Valley.
In girls soccer, Pittston Area is at Nanticoke and three teams – Dallas, Scranton Prep and Wallenpaupack – travel outside District 2 for games.
The only girls volleyball opener has Nanticoke at Abington Heights.
Delaware Valley is at Abington Heights in field hockey while Lake-Lehman and Wyoming Valley West play opponents from outside District 2 in the other two games.
There are also matches in golf and girls tennis, the two sports that were allowed to get underway earlier.
Lake-Lehman becomes the last District 2 boys golf team to play a league match when it opens defense of its Wyoming Valley Conference Class 2A Division title at Huntsville Golf Club, playing against both Nanticoke and Wyoming Seminary.
See what NEPA Sports Nation editor Tom Robinson is predicting for high school football openers: Tom Robinson’s high school football picks: Week 1, season – NEPA Sports Nation.
The broadcast schedule, with links, from our partners at NEPAFootball.com: Broadcast Schedule | NEPA Football.