Friday, August 28, 2009

Sports at their finest: High school football kicks off

As schools open for class, stadiums open for Friday night release. It's as pure as it gets: it's high school football.
The experience of seeing a high school football game comes with very little hoopla - no rock bands (only student marching bands), few poor sports (only enthused student sections with creative chants), no pre-game B4 bomber entrances (only birds against a blue sky) - and the game is full of raw emotion and love of football.
I have a special connection with this genre of sport; I got my start in the industry reporting high school football two years ago today. I learned to love everything about the environment at high school games: the pep rallies, the food, homecoming week, alma maters, the stadiums, and the games.
I've heard some talk recently about how boring high school football can be when compared to the college and professional games, but I'm not sure I agree. See, the same people that think that feel they are too big for the "little" game, and feel burdened when they have to go cover high school kids.
That's garbage.
I think people who say that have lost touch with what is great about the high school game, if not sports in general. With high school football, you have to take the little things and appreciate them for what they are.
I love that townspeople show up to watch practice on a day-to-day basis. I love that seemingly the entire town shows up for a game under the lights, and that the game is a culmination of an entire week of waiting to watch the team play. The aura around high school football is something that cannot be matched. I will always love standing on the sidelines under the lights and being able to feel the electricity of a new seasons' hopes on the first week of the season or the state title hopes of week nine. And I truly hope I never let myself get too "big" to fully appreciate everything high school football has to offer, and everything high school football has done for Grant Burkhardt, the reporter.
If I ever let myself get there, you have permission to take away my press pass.
Thanks for reading.

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