BY ED HEDES

Where has the summer gone.....

It seems like only yesterday we were watching some outstanding performances at the Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University and here we are beginning the 2012 High School football season with seven local games on the docket.

Two matchups of local teams has Tamaqua traveling to Jim Thorpe and Marian visiting Lehighton. All eyes in the Colonial League will be on the new turf field at Northern Lehigh as the Bulldogs host pre-season favorite Southern Lehigh.

As we did last year, THE TIMES NEWS is looking to keep local fans up to date on the contests as they are going on by posting scores on our Facebook Page.

So let's get started with Week No. 1 and see just where things line up:

TAMAQUA AT JIM THORPE - Olympians looked impressive in scrimmages and have some talented athletes and speed. It'll be interesting to see how the Raiders handle their speed ... Jim Thorpe, 14-6.

MARIAN AT LEHIGHTON - Here's one that matches up the coach against his pupil as Stan Dakosty visits Indian Territory to take on a team coached by one of his former players Tom McCarroll. It's McCarroll's debut as head coach and he'd like nothing better to start off on the right foot. Last year when I picked against Marian, the Colts always seemed to come out with a win. Let's see what happens this time as I go with the rookie ... Lehighton, 7-6.

MAHANOY AREA AT PANTHER VALLEY - The Panthers have a lot of "new kids on the block" and will look for Richie Smith to take them to the winner's circle a few times this year. Mahanoy can taste a post-season title bid ... Mahanoy Area, 25-13.

NAZARETH AT PLEASANT VALLEY - The Eagles lost a lot of talent from last year's team, but they look to continue that winning tradition. Jim Terwilliger's Bears were hurt by injuries last season and will hope to return to the success that they had in 2010 ... Nazareth, 32-7.

SOUTHERN LEHIGH AT NORTHERN LEHIGH - Spartans spent some time in Disney World as they visited Florida for their second scrimmage. Bulldogs hope to showcase some speed on their new turf and hope that Solehi stilly has Mickey and Minnie on their mind ... Northern Lehigh, 14-7.

NOTRE DAME AT PALMERTON - Bombers are young and need a good start out of the blocks if they want to pick up some "W's" this season. Crusaders picked up a couple of transfers and it looks like this one could be won in the trenches ... Palmerton, 14-2.

NORTHWESTERN AT PALISADES - The Josh Snyder Era starts for the Tigers and it may take a little time for him to build the dynasty that his former coach Bob Mitchell had. Thanks to an early visit to Palisades, it may just get headed in the right direction ... Northwestern, 21-0.

BANGOR AT SALISBURY - The Slaters could be one of those teams to pull a few upsets this season. The Falcons aren't expected to do too much ... Bangor, 35-0.

PEN ARGYL AT SAUCON VALLEY - Guess you have to still ride the Green Knights until they lose ...Pen Argyl, 32-0.

WILSON AT CATASAUQUA - A tough opener for Bret Comp and his Warriors as the Roughies are expected to contend for Colonial League hardware this year ... Catasauqua, 28-7.

MINERSVILLE AT WILLIAMS VALLEY - The Battlin' Miners return running back Chris Murphy and the Vikings will show off their new spread offense under new head coach Tim Savage. Should be interesting ... Minersville, 21-13.

SHENANDOAH VALLEY AT NORTH SCHUYLKILL - Spartans aren't playing Northern Lehigh so they should be in good shape ... North Schuylkill, 28-7.

FREEDOM AT EAST STROUDSBURG SOUTH - Patriots had a player declared ineligible this week so Cavaliers might just be able to sneak one away here before the dust settles in the Christmas City ... ES South, 14-7.

POCONO MOUNTAIN WEST AT BETHLEHEM CATHOLIC - Hawks are coming off a three win season, while West won just two games. Who will withstand the challenge here? ... Becahi, 28-21.

STROUDSBURG AT NORTHAMPTON - The Mountaineers just might be the best team in the MVC this year so a win in the opener against the Konkrete Kids just might be what the doctor ordered ... Stroudsburg, 18-7.