Folks, welcome to one of my favorite times of year.
October, the best month in sports — because of postseason baseball, midseason football and preseason college basketball — is on the horizon, and autumn is even closer.
This evening will present a far cry from two weeks ago, when it took three quarters of football for me to stop perspiring even while parked on a press box stool. The low temperature is 44 degrees tonight.
The crisp, cool air means the following is in store for me:
‰The Keurig coffee mug is in prime usage mode.
‰The wife voices a friendly reminder to pack a light jacket along (What would I do without her?).
‰The iPhone earbuds are pumping the glorious sounds of "A Change of Seasons" by Dream Theater, the greatest song of all time, into my brain and soul.
If you've got 23 minutes to spare, the epic tune a must-listen. It's the perfect-transition-to-fall (or anytime) song.
I feel like I've got 23 games to pick this week, so I better get to it.
Seeing how that's the point of this column, that's probably music to your ears.
Ashland 31, Russell 17: Today is Friday the 13th. This one turns out like the classic movie "Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives," except Ashland lives … for the sixth straight time in the series.
South Point 30, Boyd County 24: When the season began, I felt like the Lions had a real shot in this one. I still do, but the Pointers are a bit better than I originally anticipated. A late field goal tightens it up to six, but Boyd County can't cut it any closer.
Raceland 35, Greenup County 20: The Musketeers come in confident, holding their heads high after a win against Fleming County. It shows here as the Rams find themselves in a fight.
Fairview 34, Bellevue 22: Bellevue nearly knocked off Walton-Verona, a Class 2A school that is 3-0, so the Tigers are no pushover. Fairview gets it done with the help of a couple explosive plays at home.
Johnson Central 44, Perry County Central 21: I have no idea how the Golden Eagles are doing it — because they don't turn in stats to the KHSAA nor to The Independent — but they are certainly racking up the points. Sixty-seven and 72 in their first two games are enough to make me a believer in that offense.
Lawrence County 42, Breathitt County 35: The Bobcats got blasted by Bourbon County, but then again, everyone has so far. The Dawgs have to fight tooth-and-nail, but they claw this baby out.
Rowan County 36, Fleming County 28: Break out the butter and syrup (take a look at last year's game coverage). The Vikings taste sweet victory for the first time this season.
East Carter 24, Bath County 16: Raceland and Fairview didn't bust out of the gate this season like many people thought. The reason might have been more East Carter than themselves. The Raiders' defense is the difference tonight.
Morgan County 28, West Carter 27: The Cougars tame high-motor quarterback Braden Brown and the Comets just enough in a whale of a game.
Lewis County 38, Nicholas County 12: I told you the Lions would be 3-0! Oh, wait, no I didn't.
Paintsville 41, Shelby Valley 14: The easy schedule ends for the Wildcats as Paintsville improves to 3-1.
Ironton 21, Amanda-Clearcreek 14: The last time these teams met, Ironton won in a 12-9 playoff decision in 2011. Expect a few more points here, but not much more in a barnburner.
AARON SNYDER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2664.