Parrish doesn’t have an off week in 2012.
By the looks of the Tornadoes’ schedule, they could use one.
Parrish takes on a total of eight playoff teams this season, including a defending Class 1A state champ as well as five other teams that won first-round postseason games. The Tornadoes opponents went 79-37 last season.
Added to that is the fact that Parrish has just four home games and takes on its three toughest region opponents during a brutal four-week stretch.
New Parrish football coach Jarrod Wooten and the Tornadoes also face a trio of playoff teams in their non-region games.
There was only one change to Class 1A, Region 5 this season, but it was a big one with Meek leaving and perennial playoff team Pickens County joining the group.
Pickens County has made the playoffs each of the last seven years and the team has won at least one playoff game each of the last six seasons. By contrast, Meek was 1-9 last year and hasn’t made the postseason since 2003. Parrish looks to end three long losing streaks this season. Both Berry and Lynn have won six straight meetings against Parrish while Cordova has won five straight.
Parrish is coming off a 4-6 record in 2011. The Tornadoes started the season 2-0 before suffering a slew of narrow losses. The team lost five games by a total of nine points. This season, Parrish plays three of its first four games away from Harland-Nelson Stadium.
The Tornadoes open at Oakman (8-4 in 2011) on Aug. 31. The teams are playing in the season opener for the first time since 2007. Parrish and Oakman have played every year since 1957 and the rivalry dates back to 1925. Oakman, which had its best season since 2003 last season, won last year’s meeting 21-19.
Parrish travels to Hubbertville in Week 2. The Lions (7-4) kept the Tornadoes out of the playoffs with a 35-34 victory last season. The win was Hubbertville’s third win in the series, which Parrish leads 13-3.
The Tornadoes play their first home game in Week 3 when the defending state champion Marion County Red Raiders (14-1) travel to Parrish. Marion County was the only region team to beat Parrish by more than three points last year, winning 35-13. Parrish had won the previous three meetings.
Berry (10-2) hosts Parrish in Week 4. The Wildcats, the only team to beat Marion County last season, have owned Parrish in recent years, winning six straight games in the series. Berry won a shootout over the Tornadoes in 2011, outlasting Parrish 48-46 in overtime. The Wildcats have won the last two meetings by a combined three points.
Parrish takes a week off from region play with a Week 5 home game vs. county rival Cordova (6-5). The Blue Devils nipped Parrish 16-15 last season to run their winning streak against the Tornadoes to five games. The streak is Parrish’s longest skid in the series since losing 10 straight from 1961 to 1970.
Pickens County hosts Parrish to open the second half of the schedule. Pickens County, also the Tornadoes, advanced to the third round of the playoffs last season and set a school record for points in a season (583). This will be the first meeting between the teams since 1995. The teams have played just three times (1926, 1994, 1995)
Parrish hosts Brilliant (3-7) in Week 7. The Tigers are one of the two teams on the schedule that didn’t make the postseason in 2011. The Tornadoes have won three straight games in the series, including a 40-6 victory last year.
The Tornadoes travel to another region nemesis, Lynn, in Week 8.
Lynn (9-3) has won six straight in the series to cut Parrish’s all-time series lead to 19-16-1. The Bears finished second to Marion County in the region standings last year.
Parrish’s final home game comes against South Lamar (1-9) in Week 9. The Tornadoes have won three straight in the series, including a 47-28 road win in 2011.
In the regular-season finale, Parrish travels to Class 2A Fultondale to take on the Wildcats (10-3).
Fultondale is coming off a record-setting season in 2011. The team tied the school record for wins in a season, advanced to the third round of the playoffs for the first time and set a school record for points in a season (527).