By Walter GeigerA cool breeze wafted across the soccer complex in Conyers Sunday afternoon, sending one woman seated in the shade to her car for a blanket. Two soccer dads who happen to be UGA football fans exchanged knowing glances.We love our daughters and their soccer teammates but real football kicks off this weekend. As always, optimism abounds as the hours and minutes tick off until kickoff time and there are high hopes for the local squads.The Lamar County Trojans are coming off a 2012 season which saw them fall just short of a spot in the state championship game. They open the season ranked as high as #2 in statewide Class AA polls and another deep run into postseason play is expected. The Pike County Pirates also have high hopes after qualifying for the Class AAA playoffs last fall. They have talent and have worked hard in the weight room all summer long.Lamar opens the season Friday night at Trojan Field, playing host to the Spalding Jaguars. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Pike opens its season on the road at Upson-Lee Friday. That game is also a 7:30 kick.We will know more about each squad after they collide headto- head in the annual Battle of Potato Creek in Zebulon September 13.The state’s college teams also kick it off this weekend. Georgia, ranked #5, travels to Death Valley to take on #8 Clemson in the premiere college matchup.Should they win at Clemson and at home the following Saturday against South Carolina, the Dogs could run the table.Georgia Tech fans have high hopes for their Jackets who, though unranked, have revamped their porous defense of the last several seasons under new coordinator Ted Roof.Tech opens with a gimme game against Elon College Saturday but Duke, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Miami and BYU, which embarrassed Tech last year, follow.If Tech loses three of those five, the seat under Jacket head coach Paul Johnson will begin to heat up.We’ll be watching.You will be, too.America’s real national pastime is back. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of the Herald Gazette.