When the Marshall Statesmen and Washington-Liberty Generals meet Friday, Aug. 27 in the opening game of the 2021 high-school football season, the contest will have added meaning.
Neither team has won its initial contest in a quite a while. Marshall was last victorious in a season opener in 2008 and W-L in 2013. One of those teams will break that losing streak at Marshall in the 7 p.m. kickoff because there are no ties in high-school football.
Washington-Liberty head coach Josh Shapiro hopes its his team, which defeated McLean, 14-11, in that 2013 opener.
“It would be nice to get started with a win for once,” said Shapiro, whose squads are noted for not yielding, and finishing strong during seasons after struggling at the start.
Marshall’s last season-opening win was over Hayfield, 23-12, in that 2008 campaign. The Statesmen have rebounded well from those initial losses, by still making the region playoffs multiple times over the last half dozen seasons.
The Langley Saxons also will be looking for their first opening-game win since 2013 when they visit the Yorktown Patriots on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. The Saxons’ last opening-night win was, coincidently, against Yorktown, 35-28.
Yorktown has been up and down in its last four season openers, with two win and two losses each.
The McLean Highlanders host the West Potomac Wolverines in their first game at 7 p.m. Aug. 27, and will by trying two win a third straight season opener. The Highlanders are coming off a 4-3 campaign.
“I don’t know the last time we’ve played West Potomac,” McLean coach John Scholla said. “It’s been a while, so we don’t know much about them.”
The Oakton Cougars have one opening-night triumph in their last five attempts. They host the Lewis Lancers on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m., a team that was winless (0-6) during the previous season.
The Wakefield Warriors start on the road against the Fairfax Lions in 7 p.m. Aug. 27 action, and will be trying to win their fourth opener in five seasons.
At the opposite end of the first-game spectrum, the defending Concorde District and 6D North Region champion Madison Warhawks will try to win their sixth straight season opener. The Warhawks, coming off an 8-1 campaign, start on the road in Ashburn against the perennial Class 5 power Stone Bridge Bulldogs.
The teams have met multiple times in recent seasons, with the Bulldogs most often the winner.
Local private-school teams Bishop O’Connell, Flint Hill and Potomac School aren’t slated to begin their seasons until Sept. 3 and 4.
O’Connell hasn’t won an opener since routing Paul VI Catholic, 56-14, in 2014.
Neither Flint Hill nor Potomac School won their first games during the previous season. Flint Hill won its 2019 opener and Potomac School last started with a victory in 2018.