I’m the first to, sort of, admit that we’re just a bit homerish when it comes to certain things around here.
I’ve never worked at a newspaper yet that didn’t get excited about high school football. Who wouldn’t?
To many it signifies the change of seasons, and a thrilling way to end the year as we move from the depths of summer toward the chill of Christmas.
Of course, this will be my first season experiencing Texas high school football, and I can’t wait for tonight’s kick off. While I understand how much Texas loves the sport, I’ve always been in places where enthusiasm has run high for Friday night.
I’m the first to admit that I love covering the sport. I look forward to it each year, and my wife will be the first to ask on a fall evening: “When are you leaving?” That’s because, she gets the TV to herself, but she knows that I’m sharing my passion for community by covering a football game.
Some of my most memorable experiences have been covering high school football — starting back in the fall of 1989. I asked the staff here at The Kerrville Daily Times about what makes football so exciting, and there was a cacophony of responses, ranging from:
It gets people off the street so I can enjoy H-E-B.
It’s all about the band.
It’s a sense of community.
It’s the little kids playing football in the endzones.
In fact, I’m pretty certain longtime Times photographer Tom Holden is still rattling off things to me. He’s definitely biased when it comes to covering the sport — he once played. He basically refers to everyone from Kerr County as “we,” and I’m sort of OK with that.
You will find little argument about the fact that high school football definitely brings a community together, especially in a one-school town. Those days are slipping away for many communities across America, and in some places, so is the love of a game that dominates the national conversation for months.
Participation at the high school level is down, the NFL has had challenges with ratings and fans, and there’s the ever-growing concern about injuries.
However, there is no question that sports are something that can bond us and help shape where we want to be as a city, community and nation.
I for one can’t wait for my first Texas Friday Night Lights.