High School Football Begins Again
Saturday morning, turf still damp from last night’s drizzle.
It’s still August but there’s an unmistakable chill that portends fall, with clouds and a slight breeze blowing through.
Music blaring. Whistles blowing. Hearts pounding.
A coach, his voice hoarse after three days of conditioning drills. So hoarse as to scare women and children.
Players, their muscles likely as sore as the coach’s throat.
A mix of boys……some big and beefy, others as thin as reeds.
Strong legs and fresh faces, some with peach fuzz growing. One razor might last the team the whole season.
Enthusiasm abounds. Pads (and bodies) crunch together.
A mom’s handwriting on the top of her son’s Thermos, proclaiming it as his own.
A stale smell belies the morning’s freshness when the team runs sprints past an observer.
A coaching staff --- trying to figure out how to take this lump of clay that is their assemblage of boys and sculpt them into the team that will perform, soon, on Friday nights.
Trying to find just the right players to put into each position, to best take advantage of their skills.
Trying to find leaders among the boys who will motivate, encourage, and take ownership of their teammates, for it is the players, not the coaches, who are the team.
It happened Saturday, at every school across the state.
The first day of live contact at high school football practices.
Games start the first Friday of September.
I can’t wait.
There's no question about it.
Frank the Man