For the Ridgefield High football team, the toughest game of the regular season may be the first game of the regular season.

In a rematch of last year’s Class LL state championship contest, Ridgefield hosts Darien this Friday (Sept. 8) at 7 p.m. at Tiger Hollow. Darien defeated the Tigers, 28-7, to win its second straight Class LL title and cap an undefeated season last December.

Next Friday’s showdown is the first of five home games for Ridgefield, which finished with a 10-3 record in 2016. The home schedule includes a homecoming game against arch-rival Wilton on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 1:30.

The Tigers play five of their first eight games on the road before closing the regular season with home contests against Fairfield Warde (Nov. 10) and Danbury (Nov. 22).

The Ridgefield-Darien game is part of a doubleheader at Tiger Hollow on Friday. The prelude features the RHS boys soccer team, which hosts Trumbull at 4 p.m. in the season opener for both teams.

Also starting its season on Friday is the Ridgefield field hockey team, which travels to Stamford High School for a 4 p.m. game. The Tigers play their home opener on Monday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m. against Newtown.

In pursuit of a third straight Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) title, the Ridgefield High girls soccer team opens its season this Saturday (Sept. 9) with a road game against Trumbull at 3 p.m. The Tigers play their home opener on Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. against Stamford.

Also on Ridgefield’s eight-game home schedule are back-to-back contests against Wilton (Oct. 4) and St. Joseph (Oct. 9). The Tigers have beaten St. Joseph in the last two conference championship games.

In addition to defending its FCIAC title, Ridgefield will also take aim at a first-ever state championship after losing to Glastonbury in the Class LL finals the past two seasons.

Making its season debuts next Tuesday (Sept. 12) are the RHS boys and girls cross country teams, which face four opponents (New Canaan, Brien McMahon, Westhill, Trinity Catholic) at 4 p.m. at Waveny Park in New Canaan. The RHS girls team won the FCIAC, Class LL, and State Open titles last fall.

Coming off a first-ever conference championship, the RHS girls swim team opens its season next Wednesday (Sept. 13) at 4 p.m. by hosting St. Joseph at the Barlow Mountain pool. The Tigers swim five of their nine regular-season meets at home.

The final RHS team to get underway this fall is the girls volleyball squad. The Tigers host Simsbury in a non-conference match next Friday (Sept. 15) at 6 p.m. before starting their FCIAC schedule the following day at home against Trumbull at 5:30.