CHANEY VS. FITCH
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Falcon Stadium, Austintown.
Chaney scouting report: The Cowboys, winners of 10 of the past 11 City Series championships, have 16 lettermen returning from last year's 10-1 team, but must deal with the loss of five gifted skill players from last year: Brad Smith, Thandi Smith, Marcus Patton, Tyrone Washington and Dom Bowell.
The coach says: "Anytime that you go to Fitch, it's a tough place to play. Their fan base is always great, but we also have fans who like to follow us.
"I believe Fitch has turned the corner. They have numbers, great size, outstanding skill and experience. We have to go there and play well, take care of the football, keep it out of their hands and make long sustained drives, because they are able to strike at any time." -- Ron Berdis.
Fitch scouting report: The Falcons have 26 lettermen returning from last year's 3-7 team.
The coach says: "We are returning all of our skilled people on both sides of the ball. I think that experience will help us in the opener. We have great potential on both sides of the line, but we don't have experience up there. How quickly the line can come will determine how successful we'll be this season.
"Chaney is an outstanding team and their strength plays in our weakness because they return all their lineman on both sides of the ball. It's kind of an interesting matchup with one team with skilled people back and the other with linemen. I think it will be an interesting game. Any time you play a team that had 10 wins the year before, that momentum will carry into the next season." -- Carl Pelini.
Radio: WKBN-AM (570).
LEETONIA VS. MCDONALD
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: McDonald High School.
Leetonia scouting report: The Bears have five returning lettermen on offense and eight on defense from last year's Division VI playoff team that finished 7-4. Leetonia's offensive line, led by Josh Aikens, averages 250 pounds. The defensive secondary has all four starters back.
The coach says: "The last time the Bears beat McDonald was in 1979 and it's been very frustrating. We stress the importance of the line even though they are unsung heroes, not the ones that get their names in the paper. Our backfield guys know that their names wouldn't be in the paper if it wasn't for the line.
"We'll have to control the line of scrimmage and eliminate fundamental mistakes if we expect to win. McDonald is McDonald, traditionally a great football team with great pride. They lost a lot of players last year, with only three starters back, but they just reload and play solid football year-in and year-out." -- Art Altomare.
McDonald scouting report: The Blue Devils have eight lettermen returning from last year's 9-3 team that defeated Gibsonburg, 28-10, before losing to Mogadore, 18-6, in the Div. VI playoffs.
The coach says: "Both of us were in the playoffs a year ago, so it should be a good game. We both would like to get back there, so it's important to get off to a good start. Our fullback, Jeff Ashton, 6-2, 220, is back, and we are sort of building our offense around him. Special teams can make or break a team when you have two evenly matched teams." -- Dan Williams.
Special event: McDonald will celebrate its 75th season of football with a pregame ceremony involving 225 former players and coaches.
-- Vindicator staff reports