Who has the roughest nonconference slate in Conference 2A-4? In terms of winning percentage it is Magazine but league favorite Hector actually has two Class 3A playoff teams on its docket.
The Rattlers play three teams who went a combined 18-17 last season but the bulk of that is the 14-1 record compiled by Mount Ida on the way to a state runner-up finish. The Rattlers open with Bigelow, who was 1-9, and also play Cutter Morning Star who was 3-7.
Hector on the other sandwiches games against Atkins (10-3) and Perryville (7-4) with a date against Marshall, who was 0-10 in 2017. That, and the Wildcats having a new head coach may make that trek a little tougher.
Hackett, Johnson County Westside and Mountainburg all face one 2017 playoff qualifier.
The Hornets close out nonconference play with Panama, (OK) (8-3) after seeing Mansfield (2-8) and Pocola, (OK) (1-7) to start the year.
Westside also finishes up out of conference play with a playoff team in Lamar (5-6) after facing Cedarville (3-7) and Two Rivers (0-10) in its first two games.
For Mountainburg the playoff foe is Greenland (5-5) in their second game after opening with Cedarville (3-7) in what is only a two game nonconference slate.
That leaves Lavaca and Western Yell County. The Arrows face three teams who combined to go 4-26, but two are in larger classifications in Class 4A Subiaco (2-8) and 3A Mansfield (2-8) along with Two Rivers (0-10).
The Wolverines also have winless Two Rivers, a game with the Lamar JV and Rose Bud (4-6) in nonconference play.
Four league teams also opted for Week Zero games this season with Westside taking an open date in Week 1, Magazine and Hackett taking off in Week 2, and Hector taking its break in Week 3.
Each team in the league will also have an open date between Week 4 and Week 10 due to Decatur discontinuing is program in favor of 8-man football as a club sport. For Magazine that is Week 5.
Western Yell, Westside and Hector are all under new head coaches this season.