Editorial: It’s time for football Fridays

Aug. 19, 2013 @ 11:46 PM

Local schools are at the heart of every community, and perhaps the best way to experience the beating of that heart is by attending a local high school football game.

From the sounds of the marching band to the roar of the crowd and action on the field, high school football games are always exciting events, and there’s perhaps no better way to get to know your neighbors than watching a ballgame from the bleachers.

High school sports draw people from all over the community, regardless of their economic status, church membership or work background to one centralized location for one reason — supporting local kids.

It’s only natural that positives are created by attendance of these events. It’s been proven again and again that community pride and a sense of belonging accompany participation in high school sports, and that includes spectators.

As football starts this week, there will be ample opportunity to find a Friday night destination at one of the five county high schools.

This Friday night Sevier County, Gatinburg-Pittman, Pigeon Forge and The King’s Academy all start their 2013 campaigns at their home stadiums. Seymour starts their season on the road Thursday night at Sullivan North in Kingsport.

Prospects are good for our local squads this year.

Sevier County, as always, is predicted to finish atop their conference. Gatlinburg-Pittman has impeccable new facilities and a renewed interest in participation. Pigeon Forge and The King’s Academy each have new head coaches and increased excitement around their programs, while Seymour is trying to build on some positive steps made during the 2012 season to get the team back to its prominent status of days gone by.

But no matter the success of the teams on the field, the players for those teams deserve community support.

The work that goes into performing at a varsity level while maintaining school work, after-school responsibilities and a social/church life can be staggering. Show these kids that their hard work is appreciated. Attend a game.

Even if you’ve never been to one in years, why not take a trip out of your comfort zone this week and see what you’re missing? Chances are, you’ll be glad you did.