I donít know about you guys, but Iím excited!
Local fall sports are literally a day away and I canít shake the feeling that we are going to see something special happen this fall.
Maybe it will come in the form of the Mullan-St. Regis Football Team and their quest to win the 1A Division II State Championship.
Or possibly the Kellogg Lady Wildcats taking last yearís state-qualifying team and building off that momentum.
Those are really just the low hanging fruit, too.
On any given day the athletes of the Silver Valley have shown their ability to surprise and enthrall us with their competitive spirit.
Letís kick this season off with some game/match predictions.
Kellogg Football vs. St. Maries
Friday, 7 p.m.
The Kellogg Football Team is playing host to the archrival St. Maries Lumberjacks on Friday evening in a game that the Wildcats would love win for many reasons.
A. Itís always nice to get a win in your season opener.
B. Kellogg hasnít beat St. Maries at football in a LONG time.
The Lumberjacks are a quality measuring stick for the Wildcats, so a good showing no matter what will be a solid indicator of where the Wildcats are.
St. Maries lost a lot to graduation, while the Wildcats essentially returned the core of their squad from last year.
Prediction: Kellogg 24, St. Maries 18
Wallace Football vs. Troy (Idaho)
Friday, 6 p.m.
The Miners lost a game against Kootenai, and added a potentially much more difficult opponent in Troy.
Despite dropping out of the Whitepine League, Wallace will once again open their season against a WPL opponent.
Troy was pretty terrible last season, and while Wallace didnít do much better, the Miners struggled with injuries all season long.
Wallace is looking to get their program back on solid footing this year and what better way than to dominate an old league opponent at home before moving into the rest of their season.
Prediction: Wallace 36, Troy 18
Mullan Football vs. Clark Fork
Friday, 3:30 p.m.
Itís not often that the first game of the season is also the seasonís most important, but it looks like the North Star League will kick off their season with a heavyweight slugfest between the two best teams.
Mullan is primed for a deep playoff run, while Clark Fork is looking to stay at the top of the North Idaho 1A Division II food chain.
Coach Stetson Spooner is in the unique position of having All State players on both sides of the ball.
And they are really fast.
The early kickoff also plays to the Tigersí advantage as they are accustomed to playing in the mid-afternoon heat.
Last year, with a few lingering injuries and an inexperienced offense, the Tigers pushed the Wampus Cats to the limit but still lost.
This year it will be different.
Prediction: Mullan 54, Clark Fork 40
The Wildcats have three away matches this week, including a Monday match at Grangeville, but there is a real chance that they finish this week 2-1 or even 3-0.
As of press time there is no score on the game at Grangeville, but the Wildcats are poised for a solid season.
In todayís game at Coeur díAlene Charter the Wildcats will need to play a perfect game to get a huge win.
Prediction: CdíA Charter 2, Kellogg 1
Tomorrow at Priest River the Wildcats will have a shot to get back on track with a big win over another IML rival.
Prediction: Kellogg 3, Priest River 1
Kellogg Volleyball vs. Lakeland
Thursday, 7 p.m.
With a loaded roster and the opportunity to play giant killer right out of the gate, the Lady Wildcats are primed for an awesome season opener against a quality 4A opponent.
Kelloggís senior-laden team will challenge every team they step on the court with their length and back row veterans.
Lakeland should be a solid foil as they usually have a bevy of quality athletes at their disposal as well, but second year coach Stephanie Brunner has her girls dialed in and ready to compete.
Prediction: Kellogg def. Lakeland in 5 sets.
Wallace Volleyball vs. CDA Charter
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Much like the Wildcats, the Lady Miners are opening their season against a bigger school and itís a potentially favorable matchup.
Coeur díAlene Charter has been at the bottom of the 3A totem pole for a few seasons and it will be a quality win for the Miners should they get past the Panthers.
The Miners will want to get this one over quickly and I expect that they will.
Prediction: Wallace def. CDA Charter in 5 sets.
Check out the SNPís regularly published calendar for weekly game schedules for all three schools.