Although preseason practically has only recently just begun, high school football expectations in the powerhouse I-Meck Conference appears to be in mid-season form.

Earlier this week, official opening day of practice for all of the state’s fall season sports arrived with football once again playing a starring role.

Football, considered one of the state’s premier revenue-producing sports for North Carolina’s high school athletic programs, is being joined by girls golf, girls tennis, volleyball, girls and boys cross country and boys soccer as those making up the fall sports season family. It rivals the spring season as the busiest of the state’s three-legged sports calendar.

Football remains on the area’s front burner.

Lake Norman High School, Mooresville High School and Pine Lake Prep all were among the ones from across the state engaging in first formal day of preparation Thursday. All are scheduled to continue workouts through the middle of the month as well.

Within the I-Meck in particular that serves as the league affiliation for both Lake Norman’s Wildcats and Mooresville’s Blue Devils, it is already receiving rave reviews based on very-early reports.

The I-Meck is still considered to be one of the premier football-based circuits in the state in large part due to the depth among its members. Joining Lake Norman and Mooresville are traditional powers Mallard Creek, Vance and Hough High along with Hopewell High, North Mecklenburg and West Charlotte.

The league annual accounts for the housing of major college recruits among its team roster personnel. It’s also become custom for the I-Meck to produce nationally-ranked entries. Over the past six years, the I-Meck has been the home of three North Carolina High School Athletic Association larger-enrollment 4AA class state champions. On a couple of occasions during the surge, two league teams have advanced as far as the 4AA semifinals.

More of the same is being expected this season as well.

Some area products are being mentioned among the ones viewed as those to keep an eye on during the fast-approaching season.

Mooresville’s Justin Torrence, as a wide receiver, and Isaac Riffle, as a placekicker, have each been selected to receive pre-season I-Meck Conference honors.

Also, Lake Norman’s Peyton Davie, as an offensive lineman, and Kip Warren, at punter, has each also been according similar pre-season nods.

Time will tell whether the expectations are met.

Teams can continue pre-season practice in preparation for first scrimmages that can be held on Aug. 10. First official play date for all of the state’s fall sports is set for Aug. 19.

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