Believe it or not, high school football season is here.
Ridgevue and Boise get the season started Thursday at Dona Larsen Park, and then a full Friday night slate follows the next day with several marquee matchups, including Eagle vs. Mountain View and Borah vs. Capital, to name just a couple.
Get ready for the season by catching up with all of our previews and an offseason worth of news.
TOP PLAYERS TO WATCH
Note: The 5A SIC splits its 12-team conference into two six-team pods/divisions.
Which 5A and 4A SIC coach has the most career wins? (Hint: He has more than 200)
Which coach owns the highest career winning percentage? (Hint: It’s not the same as the coach with the most wins)
KEY RULE CHANGE
Idaho installed a controversial new mercy rule for its 11-man football classifications last fall. The rule stated the 5A, 4A, 3A and 2A classifications would use a running clock once a team led by more than 40 points in the second half.
The 4A and 2A classifications remain under that rule. But the 5A and 3A classifications voted to delay the start of the running clock until the fourth quarter this fall.
Last season, 50 of 150 regular-season football games in the Treasure Valley saw the mercy rule come into effect. An Idaho Statesman survey last fall showed 16 of 30 coaches in the 5A-2A classifications didn’t want the rule to return.
MORE OFFSEASON NEWS AND NOTES
▪ An Idaho Statesman investigation showed safety standards are inconsistently applied on artificial turf fields around the Treasure Valley.
▪ Skyview won the 7-on-7 championship at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Challenge, edging Rocky Mountain in the finals.
WEEK 1 SCHEDULE
Thursday, Aug. 24
Ridgevue vs. Boise at Dona Larsen Park, 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 25
Mountain View at Eagle, 7 p.m.
Borah vs. Capital at Dona Larsen Park, 7 p.m.
Centennial at Meridian, 7 p.m.
Nampa at Caldwell, 7 p.m.
Bishop Kelly at Kuna, 7 p.m.
Canyon Ridge at Columbia, 7 p.m.
Twin Falls at Vallivue, 7 p.m.
Lakeland at Skyview, 7 p.m.
Middleton at Fruitland, 7 p.m.
Mountain Home at Jerome, 7 p.m.
Homedale at New Plymouth, 7 p.m.
Melba at Parma, 7 p.m.
Weiser at Buhl, 7 p.m.
Orofino at McCall-Donnelly, 7 p.m.
Wendell at Marsing, 7 p.m.
Garden Valley at Notus, 7 p.m.
Salmon River at Horseshoe Bend, 7 p.m.
Cascade at Wilder, 7 p.m.
Butte County at Idaho City, 7 p.m.
Rimrock at McDermitt, Nev., 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 26
Emmett vs. Timberline at Dona Larsen Park, 1 p.m.
Rocky Mountain vs. Spanish Springs, Nev., at Holt Arena, Pocatello, 4 p.m.
Payette vs. Cole Valley Christian at Meridian, 7 p.m.