FOR THOUSANDS of individuals throughout the Ohio Valley, today is like Christmas morning.
The presents come in the form of the start of the high school football front at several venues tonight. It is said football is king in the valley; with that said his majesty will reign locally until hopefully early December when the state playoffs run their respective courses in Ohio and West Virginia.
The McDonald's OVAC Kickoff Weekend has become the official start to the prep grid campaign. It is a superb event played out in Wheeling and Wintersville.
The Island Stadium will host a pair of games as Bishop Donahue and Cameron open the festivities followed by the Wheeling Central and Harrison Central matchup.
Up north, Robert Kettlewell Stadium will have host Indian Creek welcoming Weir followed by Beallsville and Madonna.
The dual twinbills launch the prep football craze which totally envelopes the Ohio Valley.
While everyone has a special team or player to root for, sportsmanship needs to come to the forefront. Football is a game that teaches real-life values for those who play it and coach it.
Sportsmanship and respect are two of such of those learning lessons. They should not be isolated to just the playing field or locker room. Sportsmanship and respect for those you compete against should also carry over to those cheering on those contestants.
The Ohio Valley fanbase is passionate about wins and losses. But handling both in proper fashion is a must. Adults should realize youths will often follow their behavioral lead.
Secondly, the best games are those cleanly played and injury free. Football is a collision sport, and injuries go with the territory. But we hope serious injuries are reduced to a minimum this season.
We wish all players and coaches the best of luck in the current campaign. They have paid their dues with countless hours of hard work and sacrifice.
We hope that translates into on-field success, as they have already gained life successes through tireless commitment and dedication.