Friday Night Lights is upon us
Last week I spent just about every day meeting with a coach for our 2017 football preview magazine, as well as I attended the FCA 7 on 7 camp at the Jack Allen Sports Complex. It didn’t really hit me until about the 3rd or 4th meeting that high school football is finally back. Well technically, it’s not back yet, as none of the schools have started preseason practice yet. However, you could definitely start to get that feeling in the air.
Friday Night football is something that I find very special and enjoy just as much as other types. Growing up in Alabama, college football is king and it always will be even though the NFL dominates much of the United States. However, in my mind the atmosphere of high school football can be just as good as college sometimes even though it doesn’t draw as big a crowd. One of the key things I think high school offers is the ability to travel and see many different teams and places. I graduated from Hartselle in 2014 and played football during my time there so I was able to see a lot of different teams and stadiums. Even when we weren’t playing, we played at least one Thursday game a season, me and my grandfather would always find a good game to go to that following night and it was always somewhere we hadn’t been in the previous years. In 2014, which was the year in between me graduating and starting this job here at the paper, I still made my way to Hartselle games but also took time to visit other places. Now that I work here, I spend my Fridays following Hartselle around once again, the difference this time is I am paid for it. I’ve had the luxury of visiting most of the top schools in North Alabama and have seen many good games.
My point in writing this is this, if you are looking for something fun to do on Fridays this fall, and don’t want to break the bank, find a football game to go to. One of the top reasons is because you’ll get to see some exciting games. In 2015, I was able to see the second round playoff game for the Tanner Rattlers. Despite being a 2A, Tanner had built quite the name for themselves in this area and I was excited to experience it for myself. I was not disappointed. I was witness to what may be the most exciting high school game I’ve ever seen as I saw Tanner overcome a double digit deficit only to suffer a heartbreaking 56-55 loss on a two point play in double overtime. Now don’t get me wrong, there is the possibility of you picking a game that turns out to be a dud. However, the risk is worth it.
The second reason is the bonds you can create. My grandfather isn’t old for a grandfather of a 21 year old, even though I do refer to him as “old man”, and he’s not broken down, but he doesn’t get around like he used to. The football games provided a nice way for us to spend time together that beats sitting on the couch to watch football. We’d talk during the car ride to and from and then we’d talk and enjoy while we sat back and watched the game. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to go to one with him in a while, as my job requires me to be on the sidelines. However, even if I never get to go to another high school game I’ll always remember those games we did get to go to. I’m looking at you Hoover and Bob Jones in 2010.