Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Who Let Da Dogs Out?

I love football.  The crisp air, the deep cadence from a drum line, the crackling squawk of an announcer, the rhythmic chants from the cheerleaders, and the commanding blows from a whistle all come together to make Friday nights magical.

Where I live, football is a big deal!  There is not a "local" professional team, but the state of Alabama is consumed by two very divisive and currently both strong college teams: Auburn University and (THE) University of Alabama.  Sure, there are some families who have moved into the state and bring their other allegiances with them; there are also families who chose not to choose at all.  Yet most children born in Alabama are almost indoctrinated into loving the Crimson or the Orange and Blue from the earliest stages of life.

As you trickle down the football food chain, you find yourself in the aforementioned glorious world of high school football.  High school football has inspired novels, movies, television shows, song lyrics, and more creative arts.  I truly believe that high school football may be the purest, most devout form of the sport in existence.  Think about it: there is true cognitive awareness of the game; there is talent; there are losses, wins, and championships.  There are halls of fame and walls of shame.  But the sport is not tainted by money, scholarship, or other evils which creep into college and professional games.  There is something so intangibly warm and attainable about high school football.  Anything is possible.

The high school in my hometown is only in its second year of life.  But the sleepy little bedroom community where I live has been supporting itself for decades.  We have always been Helena strong, even if we only became The Huskies last year.  Look at what this community does on Friday nights:
Most of the young men playing on the high school football fields have been playing football since they were young boys.  My sweet Rob is one of those young boys!  Playing for the second season, this year is is starting at Center and still wearing #12.  Bobby is the head coach again and seems to have really found his stride at leading these boys toward a love and respect for the game.
We have been practicing since the first (hot and muggy) week of August, and even participated in skills and agility camps led by the high school staff at their practice field.   We played a practice game against one of our rivals, then opened the season last week at our cross-town rivals' field.  Sadly we lost 18-12, but we looked so much better than the majority of last season!

Yesterday was Labor Day, but there was to be very little rest for these little Huskies!  We had an evening practice in preparation for a game today.  Following practice we had a season-opening tailgate party with our cheerleaders and their families.  It was great fun!  We had more food than we knew what to do with - everyone contributed.  We had music, dancing, and even a game of touch-football.

Tonight is our home-opener.  We are super excited about this new season of football.  We have 20 of the toughest, fiercest, and rowdiest 8- and 9-year-old Huskies around!

I have one question for you...Who let da dogs out?!?

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