The Prep Zone Insider

By Mike Ridaught @Ridaught

Football is back. It doesn’t matter that this week’s games are a dress rehearsal, because there is football again. Friday night under the lights, and if you can’t be there, we’ll take you there beginning next week with our Game-of-the-Week on NBC Sports Radio, formerly ESPN Radio, in Gainesville (AM-1230) and Ocala (FM-100.1 & AM-900). Plus, we’ll stream ‘live’ and on-demand video too.

We plan on broadcasting a total of 17 high school football games this fall (schedule below), beginning with Florida Deaf (St. Augustine) at Oak Hall (Gainesville) on Thursday, August 29, followed by our first radio broadcast on Friday, August 30, as Gainesville travels to Columbia (Lake City) in a match-up of programs ranked in Friday Night Football’s Top 25 all-classification poll.

GHS, last year’s 6A state runners-up, highlights our broadcast schedule. The ‘Canes will play Columbia, Eastside and Madison County in successive weeks. Gainesville has a new coach (Mark Latsko), a new quarterback (TBD) and a difficult schedule. But all-state running back Tony James returns, along with wide receiver Kenric Young and tight end Nick McGriff on offense, while lineman Herman Bellamy will lead up front defensively, along with linebacker Matt Solt, and Juan Jenkins, who will anchor the secondary. The 6A-District 5 title could be decided on Friday, October 18, when GHS travels to Vanguard (Ocala).

In addition to our ‘live’ coverage of high school football, we’ll be broadcasting our weekly high school show, “The Prep Zone,” from Sonic on 39th Avenue in Gainesville, for the third consecutive year. The video program, hosted by myself and Marty Pallman, will air every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m., beginning on Tuesday, Aug. 27, with our guests: Oak Hall football coach Scott McDaniel and his seniors.

Also back is the Prep Zone Power Poll, which ranks the top 20 high school football, basketball, baseball & softball teams across 25 counties. Our first poll will be released on Tuesday, Aug. 27 during our show.

Finally, we’ll recap the night of high school football with local coaches and preview the day in Gator & SEC football every Saturday on “The Prep Zone Tailgate,” which debuts on Saturday, Aug. 30, from 9-10 a.m. on NBC Sports Radio and on theprepzone.com. High school football is just the beginning as we kick-off the 2013-14 high school sports season with extensive coverage on The Prep Zone Sports Network. Good luck to all of the local teams and enjoy the games!

2013 High School Football Broadcast Schedule

Thursday, August 29 – Florida Deaf (St. Aug.) at Oak Hall (Gainesville), 7 p.m. (PZ)
Friday, August 30 – Gainesville at Columbia (Lake City) (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)
Thursday, Sept. 5 – Clay (Green Cove) at Buchholz (Gainesville), 7 p.m. (PZ)
Friday, Sept. 6 – Gainesville at Eastside (Gainesville) (PZ)
Friday, Sept. 6 – Lake Weir (Ocala) at Belleview (NBC Sports Radio)
Thursday, Sept. 12 – St. Francis (Gainesville) at Florida Deaf (St. Aug.), 7 p.m. (PZ)*
Friday, Sept. 13 – Madison County at Gainesville (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)
Friday, Sept. 20 – Eastside (Gainesville) at Belleview (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)
Friday, Sept. 27 – North Marion (Sparr) at Eastside (G’ville) (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)
Thursday, Oct. 3 – Bartram Trail (St. Johns) at Buchholz (Gainesville), 7 (PZ)
Friday, Oct. 4 –Gainesville at Forest (Ocala) (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)
Friday, Oct. 11 – Buchholz (Gainesville) at Gainesville (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)
Friday, Oct. 18 – Gainesville at Vanguard (Ocala) (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)
Thursday, Oct. 24 –Fletcher at Buchholz OR Dixie County at Newberry (PZ)
Friday, Oct. 25 – Lake Weir (Ocala) at Vanguard (Ocala) (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)
Friday, Nov. 1 – Belleview at North Marion (Sparr) (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)
Thursday, Nov. 7 – Wakulla (Crawfordville) at Gainesville, 7 p.m. (PZ)
Friday, Nov. 8 – St. Francis (Gainesville) at Trenton (NBC Sports Radio) (PZ)

*Audio only

All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted (broadcast schedule subject to change)