9. CAROL CITY VS. 12. KILLIAN 7 p.m., Saturday, Tropical Park.
Stephen Buckshot Calvert.
Remember that name.
It’s Carol City’s junior starting quarterback. Buckshot is his middle name, not a nickname. And if he keeps playing the way he has in the spring and a recent preseason game, it could be a fun and successful season for the Chiefs.
Carol City already had a turnaround season in 2013 by advancing to the playoffs.
But with Calvert and a talented group led by senior defensive backs Rashad Fenton and Edward Rolle leading the way, Carol City is looking for more this season.
A win over a good Killian squad would be a good start.
Calvert’s skills will be tested against a tough secondary led by Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine.
Despite graduating several key players, the Cougars figure to be in the thick of the race to reach state in Class 8A.
But Carol City has the look of one being one of the county’s most explosive teams.
Andre’s pick: Carol City 14, Killian 7.
11. COLUMBUS VS. 18. SOUTH DADE 7 p.m., Thursday, Harris Field.
There’s no doubt that the 2013-14 season was The Year of the Bucs.
South Dade’s state title in football kicked off a spectacular year that also included state crowns in baseball and wrestling.
But it all started for the football Bucs with a survival win against Columbus a year ago when a missed last-second field goal sealed a 12-10 South Dade win.
For Columbus, it was a frustrating season of coming up short — against the Bucs that day and twice against district rival Coral Gables ultimately ending its season in the regional semifinals.
This game is South Dade’s chance to prove it can still contend despite graduating nearly all of its starters.
Or it can be about redemption for an Explorers team that believes it should be counted among the best in the state in Class 8A. The Explorers ride that early momentum to a huge win.
Andre’s pick: Columbus 21, South Dade 14.
NORTH MIAMI VS. AMERICAN 7 p.m., Thursday, Traz Powell.
A field goal was the difference between these two last season, with North Miami prevailing 3-0. That victory served notice that the 2013 North Miami Pioneers had changed.
It sparked North Miami to a 9-2 season that culminated with its first district title since 1991 and first playoff appearance since 1999. Many of the players responsible for the turnaround are back, including quarterback Hilton Joseph, who directed an offense that averaged 30.4 points per game.
American returns a squad just as talented as North Miami, making it the favorite to repeat as District 16-7A champions.
It’s difficult to pick a winner in what should be a close game, but North Miami should continue to progress off last season’s success.
Andre’s pick: North Miami 14, American 13.
WEDNESDAY’S GAME (ANDRE’S PICK)
Sunset vs. South Miami (Tropical), 7 (S. Miami 30-7)
Scheck Hillel vs. Miami Country Day (N. Miami), 7 (MCD 34-28)
THURSDAY’S GAMES (ANDRE’S PICK)
North Miami vs. American (Traz), 7 (NM 14-13)
Miami Springs vs. Hialeah (Milander), 7 (Hialeah 27-24)
Coral Reef vs. Varela (Southridge), 4 (Reef 16-13)
Miami High vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes (Curtis), 7 (MHS 21-20)
Palmetto vs. Ferguson (Tropical), 7 (Palmetto 28-17)
Miami Beach vs. Mourning (N. Miami), 7 (Beach 30-14)
FRIDAY’S GAMES (ANDRE’S PICK)
Southwest vs. Coral Park (Tropical), 7:30 (SW 42-7)
Mater Academy vs. Northwestern (Traz), 7:30 (NW 26-14)
Edison vs. Krop (N. Miami), 7:30 (Edison 16-12)
Boyd Anderson vs. Homestead (Harris), 7:30 (Homestead 27-12)
W. Hialeah vs. Hialeah Gardens (Milander), 7:30 (Westland 24-6)
Monsignor Pace at Reagan, 4 (Reagan 30-21)
Braddock at Naples Barron Collier, 7 (Barron 35-17)
Keys Gate at Key West, 7:30 (Keys Gate 21-20)
Archbishop Curley at Calvary Christian, 7 (Calvary 27-16)
La Salle at NPB Benjamin, 7 (Benjamin 35-24)
Ransom Everglades at Palmer Trinity, 4 (Ransom 17-14)
Barrington Christian at Oxbridge, 7 (Oxbridge 31-14)
Florida Christian at Kings Academy, 7 (Kings 35-17)
Moore Haven at Dade Christian, 7:30 (Dade Chr. 41-7)
Somerset Academy at Doral Academy, 7 (Doral 14-13)
SATURDAY’S GAMES (ANDRE’S PICK)
Norland at MLK (Ga.), 2:30 (Norland 35-34)
North Miami Beach vs. Jackson (N. Miami), 7 (Jackson 20-19)
Goleman vs. Naples G.G. (Milander), 7 (Golden Gate 34-7)