Believe it or not, the first Friday Night Lights are just two weeks away. Aug. 19 is rapidly approaching, but the fall sports season in totality will have already started. 

 Which means new names come to the spotlight and more memorable moments are ready to be made. 

 However, this fall compared to last fall is going to be very different. Mostly because most of the names we were accustomed to seeing night after night over the past 3-4 years are gone. 

 So, let’s dive in and take a look at the area’s football scene. 

 Let’s start with Wellston. It has a new head coach in Karl Justus, and it’s coming off its most successful three-year span in school history. Three playoff appearances, one playoff win and a TVC championship as well. Those core players are now gone, and now a new wave of talent is being ushered in. The Golden Rockets could be in for some growing pains, but they could also shock a few teams. 

 Staying in the TVC, it’s very possible that Vinton County could win its first conference title since 1999. Though it lost a number of multi-year starters, one thing the Vikings were rather successful with last season was having solid depth. Additionally, the system they run relies on the guys in the trenches, and they are massive up front. Coming off a 6-4 season, there’s reasons to smile if you’re a Vikings fan. 

 Over in Oak Hill, a new head coach in Tyler Kratzenberg brings a new offensive system that brings some imagination to the picture. The Oaks are coming off the worst season they’ve had in 10 years, but keep in mind, they were breaking in a lot of freshmen who were thrown to the wolves. However, experience is still experience and roughly 90 percent of the team is back. There’s only one way to go from here. 

 Jackson is still … well, Jackson. It has a standard of excellence and quite frankly, this might be its best shot at making a regional final. Now, that wouldn’t come until late November and the Ironmen have quite possibly the toughest schedule in Southern Ohio aside from Ironton. The Ironmen are reloaded for another playoff run with a motivated and senior hungry team.