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Week 1: The News-Press/Naples Daily News previews all five area high school football games

Tampa Jesuit at Bishop Verot

Time: 7 p.m.

How to watch online:https://www.facebook.com/VerotLive

What to watch for – Jesuit: The Tigers are coming off an 11-3 2019 season where they cruised to a Class 5A state semifinal. Coach Matt Thompson’s team lost 42-21 to eventual state champion Miami Northwestern. Jesuit returns its second-leading rusher from a year ago in sophomore Joquez Smith and leading receiver junior Jadyn Girard. Junior middle linebacker AJ Cottrill, who racked up 152 tackles last season, leads a defense that gave up 15 points per game last season. Verot: The Vikings, who’ve made back-to-back regional final appearances, have their work cut out for them through the first four weeks of the season with Jesuit, Delray Beach American Heritage, Lakeland Christian, and defending 3A state champion Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna on the schedule. First-year head coach John Mohring stacked the schedule to prepare the team to take the next step to a state semifinal or final. There’s no flying under the radar any more for the team that includes Miami commit Malik Curtis, who found the end zone 13 times last season, and senior quarterback Jacob Azizi, who passed for 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns against eight interceptions in 2019. Keep an eye on the Vikings defense, which gave up just 12 points a game last season, as it lost a few key pieces to graduation namely 2019 News-Press Defensive Player of the Year Derrick Erickson, Dylan Insolia and Marc Taglieri Jr.

The News-Press/Naples Daily News’ prediction: Jesuit 17, Verot 16

The Bishop Verot High School football team, which is coming off a second straight regional championship game appearance in 2019, will open its season Friday at home against Tampa Jesuit. Nine Southwest Florida teams will be in action this week.

SFCA at Community School

Time: 7 p.m.

How to watch online: nfhsnetwork.com/schools/community-school-of-naples-naples-fl

What to watch for – SFCA: The King’s start the season with a freshman at quarterback. Eli Moore replaces the graduated Ricky Werner, who threw for 1,568 yards and 13 touchdowns a year ago. But that doesn’t mean Moore is brand new – he played QB in five games last season. He’ll have plenty of options in a King’s offense that threw the ball 30 times a game in 2019. Returning receivers Sam Rippl, Justin Rodgers and Carson Wallace combined to catch 71 passes for 1,307 yards and 15 touchdowns last year. SFCA needs to shore up a defense that allowed 45.2 points per game last season. CSN: The Seahawks won only one game last season – a 58-18 win over the King’s at SFCA. Community School was young last season and took its lumps, going 1-8. However, the Seahawks have nearly every player back, including running back Lovenson Xavier, who was one of the team’s biggest bright spots a year ago. CSN is debuting its new multimillion-dollar, synthetic turf, 1,100-seat stadium. But thanks to the coronavirus, John N. Allen Family Stadium won’t be close to its capacity. CSN is only allowing players’ family members to attend and expects fewer than 300 fans.

The News-Press/Naples Daily News' prediction: Community School 32, SFCA 21

More:Football is here — What will games look like, on the field and in the stands, this week?

More:Listen: Season 3, Episode 1 of the Inside Southwest Florida Football podcast

Coach Earnest Graham and Evangelical Christian School will open the 2020 season Friday on the road at LaBelle. The Sentinels went 4-6 last season and missed the playoffs while the Cowboys went 2-8 and didn't make the playoffs.

Evangelical Christian at LaBelle

Time: 7 p.m.

How to watch online: None

What to watch forECS: The Sentinels enter year two of the Earnest Graham era with outside expectations dialed down a bit from where they were a year ago, when they added four talented transfers in the offseason before suffering a 4-6 campaign and missing the playoffs. There’s still talent here, most of it young with the potential to build a winning foundation for years to come. The Sentinels are tough up front on both sides of the ball with players like fullback Logan Blair, quarterback/linebacker Myles Graham and defensive end Layton Breckenridge all expected to make big impacts. Turnovers on offense and big plays given up on defense were key reasons the Sentinels faltered, so shoring up those areas will go a long way in determining the team’s fate this season. LaBelle: Former Cowboys star Matt Davidson took over at his alma mater last year on the heels of an 8-4 playoff season in former coach and current LaBelle athletic director Chris Siner’s final season at the helm. He knew last year would be a rebuilding year and the Cowboys stumbled to a 2-8 finish. The rebuilding process could be a gradual one, but LaBelle should be good in a key area – the offensive line. Adam Reinbott, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound tackle and Division I prospect, leads a talented group that includes three senior starters. Junior quarterback Logan Davidson and senior running back Jaylen Gallegos are both returning starters. Senior linebacker Jonathan Munson should be a leader on defense. The Cowboys are hoping to make this one closer than last year’s contest, a 54-14 ECS win in Week 2.

The News-Press/Naples Daily News’ prediction: ECS 28, LaBelle 14

More:Football previews: Canterbury, St. John Neumann seek continued success; Marco and SFCA building

More:Football previews: Gateway Charter, LaBelle, Oasis look to improve on 2019 campaigns

Marco Island at Oasis

Time: 7 p.m.

How to watch online: https://www.facebook.com/oasissharksfb/

What to watch for – Marco Island: The Stingrays enter year three under head coach Steve Kaplan with a very thin roster of about 20 players, some of which will be playing both ways. Marco Island will be led by senior quarterback Kyler Howard. Fullback Peter Morales, running back Nick Vergo and receiver Matthew Vergo are also back and will suit up for the Stingrays. On the defensive side, Michael Camacho, Morales and Nick Vergo, all linebackers, return on defense, as well as lineman Keaton Ashby, and Matthew Vergo. Aside from taking snaps under center, Howard will also spend time in the secondary. Oasis: The Sharks have a lot of places to fill holes from a year ago, but have found Daniel Rennie's successor at quarterback. Toby Kellner, a transfer from Omaha Central in Nebraska, will begin the Jeff Love era taking the snaps under center. Kai Shelton is one of the few defensive players from last year's squad that returns. The senior will also spend time at running back. This home opener will also be senior night for Oasis, and they are looking to put last year behind them and kick off the 2020 season with a win.

The News-Press/Naples Daily News’ prediction: Oasis 35, Marco Island 7

First Baptist Academy, which went 10-1 in 2019, opens its season Friday when it hosts Gateway Charter.

Gateway Charter at First Baptist

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Radio: 99.3 FM ESPN Radio or 993espn.com

What to watch for – Gateway Charter: The Griffins finished 6-4 last year, losing in the first round of the SSAC playoffs under third-year coach Ben Daley. Gateway returns quarterback Jayden Hernandez, running back Isaac Dependa, and wide receiver JaDaniel Leaphart, and have 38 of 46 players back from 2019. First Baptist: The Lions return just about everyone from a team that went unbeaten in the regular season last year. That includes standout quarterback Rich Mellien and running back Tyler Coleman, plus receivers Ty Cavaliere, Colby Gonzalez and Olsen Henry. The defense also is loaded, led by all-area defensive end Dario Araya. FBA beat the Griffins 30-18 last year.

The News-Press/Naples Daily News’ prediction: First Baptist 35, Gateway Charter 14