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Football is BACK!

August 28, 2010 - Michael Palmer

Just in case you forgot how important high school football is in the Ohio Valley, this past weekend should have been a reminder.

There were kick off events Thursday night that began the 2010 season. Friday night I spent 15 minutes in a traffic jam in Byesville, no orange cones, just fans of high school football waiting impatiently to get into the game. The delay was impressive for a school that went 2-8 last season and speaks of how the fans in this area feel about high school football. The Union Local band and cheerleaders were stuck in traffic and missed the opening kick off, fortunately I arrived early enough that I made it in time.

After the first quarter I was off to St Clairsville where the community christened a new stadium Friday night. It is an impressive facility, and so many members of the alumni, business and local community were involved in making the dream a reality and many were on hand to witness opening night. A great addition to the area and a good location for playoffs in both football and soccer.

The whole sports staff is together on Friday nights in the office as we put together the Sports Saturday section. It is a labor of love and like a well oiled machine everything eventually falls into place and is off to press, mostly ahead of the deadline. I enjoy putting together the back page of the sports section, Friday Night Lights, it features many members of the supporting cast that make Friday Night football happen across the valley. Fans, Cheerleaders, Band Members, Water Boys, Concession Workers, Assistants, Students, Mascots…. the list goes on.

One aspect of the season that is both fun and aggravating is the weekly pick ‘em contest. This can be a political nightmare for the staff as we have to pick a winner in local rivalries. I do pretty well for a photographer, who is also mildly dyslexic. Which means when I have to write something I LOVE spell check! It also means that I have to check my facts and stats about 03 or I mean thirty times. Which makes me real popular under deadline during basketball season on Friday Nights.

Thankfully on Football Friday it is just about the photos. That keeps me plenty busy with the cu gallery to upload and all of the photos in the paper. Nine more weeks of the regular season, add in soccer, volleyball and an occasional cross country meet and it flies by so fast that you suddenly find youself in a gymnasium watching basketball and wondering …… how did I get here?

I will be at two or three games each Friday - so if you want to get a picture on the back page for Friday Night Lights get my attention, please throw nothing at me that weighs more than two or three pounds during this process.

We will hopefully CU at the game.

 

 
 

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