Forget the scrimmages. Forget the wait. Forget all about 2012 because football season in 2013 is finally here.

Teams have sweated a lot over the last several weeks in practices in the August Southeast Texas heat. It’s time to also line up against an opponent and not simply go against your teammates.

This is the time of year every sports fan loves to see on the calendar. Every team has the same record and the same hopes.LCMFB_2077

Bridge City’s hopes of making it five-for-five will start against one of the area and state’s best teams. Newton’s Eagles come to Larry B. Ward Stadium as one of the top ranked teams in Class 2A. This game will not matter to the Cardinals’ chances of reaching the playoffs for a fifth straight year yet coaches always want to know exactly where his team stands.

So Coach Cris Stump by around 10 p.m. Friday will have a better understanding of how his Cardinals will fare in 2013.

We have over the last several weeks talked of the returning Bridge City players who are in new spots like receiver Hunter Uzzle and quarterback Chase Shugart. One of the biggest keys against Newton will be the play of both the offensive and defensive lines guided by Jackson Roberts and Jordan Schamber.

Newton defeated Bridge City 35-12 last year and Stump called the Eagles one of the fastest teams he has ever seen. The Cardinals know they cannot keep pace with the Eagles so Bridge City must find ways to slow down one of Texas’s best teams.

Orangefield is not worried about reaching the playoffs five years straight in 2013. Right now Coach Josh Smalley and his Bobcats are only concerned with making it for the first time since 2003.

Orangefield will be at home against East Chambers.

The Bobcats are hungry to reach the postseason and start building a winning tradition. The Bucs defeated the Bobcats 36-28 and scored the game’s first 20 points.

Orangefield’s offense will run off the legs of Carl Wiley.

OFFB_2138 (2)Smalley and Orangefield will try to score points early in the game and not let East Chambers pull away so quick this year. Watch for turnovers because two of the first three East Chambers’ scores last year came after Orangefield fumbles.

One game in this Week Zero which has two sets of Orange County fans interested is the West Orange-Stark Mustangs facing the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears.

WO-S is off a season in which a record-high number of players signed with D1 colleges. It is no wonder people around are curious to see if this is a year the Mustangs fall even just the slightest bit.

It should be noted WO-S has dealt with the loss of great players for decades and Coach Cornel Thompson will have his horses ready to run.

The Mustangs lead the series 23-3. Last year’s 18-0 Mustangs’s win made it 14 wins in a row versus LC-M.

LC-M is also looking to replace a player who is now at a strong NCAA college as Alex Sezer is at Texas A&M.

The Bears are wanting to end a playoff drought that dates back to 1997. To do so LC-M must cut back on turnovers and the amount of time it’s defense is on the field.

Area fans sometimes make the mistake of thinking this series has a ton of lopsided WO-S wins. There have only been three true blowouts since 2001.

Vidor has the longest trip to go on Friday with a drive to Santa Fe. The Pirates hope is to bring in a quarterback and linebacker to replace Montana Quirante.

Vidor won 41-0 last year even though the game started with a Vidor interception. It was one of only a handful of Santa Fe highlights.WOSFB_0642

Fully replacing Quirante simply cannot be done and the Pirates need to realize he will not suit up this year.

The Pirates can win with this season’s players and a win versus Santa Fe sure would help the confidence.

Community Christian will play Saturday in Alvin at 5:30 against ProVision Academy.

Next week’s games will include WO-S at PN-G, Silsbee at LC-M, Jasper at Orangefield and Bridge City at Vidor. Houston Emery Weiner will be at Community Christian at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.

Gabriel Pruett can be reached at