You can hear the roars of Friday night crowds in the distance.  The smell of fresh-cut grass and newly-painted yard lines is already overwhelming your senses as we speak.

We get it.  You’re ready for those season-defining, rivalry spewing, can’t-get-a-ticket-at-the-gate type of games.  Well, you’ve came to the right place as we’ll be looking at each team’s best ‘ticket’ over the course of the season.

For this list, keep in mind that our picks are not specifically based on rivalry status, playoff implications, or win value of the game, but purely on the hype, media attention, and fan gravitation toward the game.  Of course, playoffs play into any decision, but for this one, the value of the ticket is of utmost importance.  The homecoming factor is excluded from this countdown.

With that, we’ll start where Tigers roam the plains of north Marion County.

wisconsin-logoWhitwell Tigers

Big Ticket Game:  South Pittsburg Pirates

Week Eight at Home

THE HOT TICKET IN TOWN:  This may be the Tigers’ toughest opponent (hold that thought), but it’s also the most intriguing.  There could be a full house on hand if head coach Tracy Malone has the Tigers in top shape.  The Pirates are expected to be better than last year, but Malone may be able to balance out the offense a bit more to give the Pirates more trouble than they bargained for.  Still, South Pittsburg will have to have a great season for this one to be a hyped matchup.  The Pirate fans can and will travel, but if their team isn’t faring so well going into week eight, they might save the trip.  Either way, this one is definitely the hottest ticket of the Tigers’ schedule.

South Pittsburg Pirates181506_103241129756250_100002110901581_27843_4868518_n

Big Ticket Game:  Sequatchie County Indians

Week One in Dunlap

THE HOT TICKET IN TOWN:  Although Marion County at home might seem like a go-to ticket, there’s no guarantee what either team will look like after four weeks of football.  Therefore, a game against Sequatchie County in the season opener will get more people in the stands without having to win.  That, added to last year’s affair at Beene Stadium, will make for some interesting football.  The Indians will likely bring in some new faces and get a test early against proven veteran athletes garnished in black and orange.  The Indians will pack the house, and as with any season opener, the Pirate fans will make the trip to Dunlap in groves.  Expect a lot of media coverage for the touted matchup.

11201885_1149829831709549_4573576693053996063_nSequatchie County Indians

Big Ticket Game:  Bledsoe County Warriors

Week Six in Pikeville

THE HOT TICKET IN TOWN:  Regardless of how these two teams are faring, the Battle for the Stump is always coveted and will always be relevant.  Even though the game takes place at Bledsoe County this year, you can bet the Indian fans will be more than willing to make the trip.  You can throw out all the records, stats, and hype when it comes to a rivalry between these two teams because no matter how good or bad the records are coming into the game, there will be a full house long before kickoff time.  For these schools, it’s the biggest game of the year, including homecoming games, so a ticket may be hard to come by it you show up less than two hours before the game.

imagesMarion County Warriors

Big Ticket Game:  South Pittsburg Pirates

Week Four at Beene Stadium

THE HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN:  Much like the Bledsoe-Sequatchie rivalry, Marion County shows up in droves for a matchup between the purple-clad Warriors and South Pittsburg.  Don’t expect a close game, though.  Both teams have been on the wrong side of a blowout and haven’t played a close bout since 2005 when Marion County won 13-12.  There’s a lot of hate in the rivalry, and it won’t fizzle down anytime soon.  South Pittsburg’s biggest game is at Sequatchie County this year (as stated above), but it seems that the Warriors will be more invested in this matchup than the Pirates.  The orange and black have a bye week before the Warriors, so they can focus on other early-season matchups for now.   Never sell this rivalry short, you can never know what to expect from two powerhouses in the Sequatchie Valley.

GC (1)Grundy County Yellow Jackets

Big Ticket Game: Whitwell Tigers

Week One in Coalmont

THE HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN:  There’s probably a hotter ticket for the Yellow Jackets, but until week one is settled, there’s no telling what game will be the biggest from a fan standpoint.  After a 1-9 season, Grundy County will need to impress right out of the gates which is hard for a team that tends to be a late bloomer every season.  To keep fan interest, they’ll have to start out strong, especially in their region, but a win against Whitwell could be a fire-starter.  For the Jackets to have a bigger ticket, they’ll have to make this ticket pale in comparison to the performance they put on.  Week one is always crucial, but for head coach Casey Tate, it could be the difference between another 1-9 season and a playoff run.

13362139_warriorhead_1363054837640x360r-1Bledsoe County Warriors

Big Ticket Game:  Sequatchie County Indians

Week Six at Home

THE HOTTEST TICKET IN TOWN:  The Warriors host the Battle for the Stump this year, so you can just about bet the entire town of Pikeville will be vying for a good seat.  The rivalry has been storied with a lot of close, hard-fought games along the way.  The Indians currently hold a 3-game win streak, but this year might be the one the Warriors have been waiting for.  Sequatchie County is a little down from last year while the Warriors seem to be underrated and a Sequatchie Valley darkhorse.  Either way, the Warriors fans can expect the stands to be packed as they always are for a rivalry of this magnitude.

Contact Chandler Morrison at and follow him on Twitter @RCS_Chandler!


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