Go and set that headline to music in your head.

It's here once again. High school football season in Washington County. This truly is a highlight of my year and I say that with no offense to all the other sports that I fawn over regularly in this column.

Though the Blair Bears, Fort Calhoun Pioneers and Arlington Eagles have been working for months toward this season, practice officially began Monday. Blood, sweat and tears undoubtably hit the field surface this week.

Because I don't want you to miss anything, I'm dedicating this week's column to football. I'll be filling you in first so nothing sneaks up on you. Make sure you're a good fan and jump on your team's bandwagon from the start.

Blair Bears

The Blair Bears will have their annual season-starting scrimmage Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. That's your best opportunity to see what running back Dex Larsen and his offensive line are up to first. Another returning honorable mention all-stater to keep an eye on will be Colin Quick.

From there, the Blair freshmen squad will be the first Bears to hit the field for real. They hosts Bellevue East Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. on Krantz Field.

The varsity squad then opens the year at Plattsmouth on Aug. 30. That game kicks off at 7 p.m.

The first Blair junior varsity game is 6:30 p.m. Sept. 3 when the Bears host Elkhorn. The Otte Blair Middle School teams play Bennington on Sept. 10.

Oh, and don't forget, BHS' homecoming game comes early this year. The Bears host York on Sept. 6.

Arlington Eagles

Coach Steven Gubbels' Arlington football team brings a lot of experience back from last season with 15 returning letterwinners and starters. You can check them out first Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. during the Eagles' booster club scrimmage.

Then, the varsity squad opens up with a home game 7 p.m. Aug. 30 against West Point-Beemer. The JV will host Oakland-Craig on Sept. 3 at 5:30 p.m. before the junior high football kids play at Yutan on Sept. 10.

The Eagles' homecoming game is Oct. 4 against Fort Calhoun. The teams' 7-6, muddy battle two years ago remains a top-five game I've covered in seven seasons of doing this.

Fort Calhoun Pioneers

Last but not least, the Fort Calhoun Pioneers will also be in action Aug. 23 in their 7 p.m. Fall Sports Kickoff Scrimmage.

Quarterback Grant Halford and Tyler Strauss will then look to connect for a couple of passing scores in their Aug. 30 opener at Ashland-Greenwood. That game kicks off at 7 p.m.

The Fort Calhoun junior varsity schedule begins with a 6 p.m. Sept. 9 home game against those rival Eagles from Arlington. The junior high squad then kicks off Sept. 10 in a home game against Douglas County West.

Keep Oct. 11 open, too. The Pioneers face the Falcons in their homecoming game.

So, be honest, are you ready for some football? I am.

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