Across the country high school students are returning to their schools for the start of a new year. The senior class is passionately waving their flag that reads something catchy about the class of 2015, the juniors are starting to think about college opportunities, the sophomores are taking their driving courses so that they can be one of the cool kids and drive to school while the freshmen are wondering what the heck is going on.
The new school year means a lot of new opportunities for students. A fresh start in all of the most difficult classes and a new beginning to meet new people and develop great friendships. But with a new school year comes a new football season, and surely, that is not something that is overlooked.
Every fall high school football players suit up for their first game of the new season and begin to dream about what this season could hold. These players have been working endlessly all summer long and are ready to wear their school’s colors proudly as they take on rival competition. It is easily one of the coolest things about high school sports.
It is even bigger in the South (and in particular, the state of Georgia) where football is nearly everything. Very few things affect the reputation of a high school more than the success of that school’s football team. And sure, not every school has a championship football team, but even for schools that are “basketball” or “baseball” schools – football is still the event that draws the big crowds, both of students and of the community.
And that’s another thing, something about high school football draws in the local community. Anywhere you go you will find local community members reading the local paper about the football game from that week. A lot of times they will also go to the game even if they don’t have a personal relationship with any players or coaches.
Especially in a small town (like Winder) there is always a lot of buy-in from the townspeople for the football teams. It is quite remarkable that local communities will literally stop everything on a Friday night to support 15-18-year-old kids runnng around on a field.
There has to be something so great about it. It’s pretty easy to figure it out here in the South, it is all about tradition. These kids grew up watching football, playing football, seeing their older siblings and relatives play football, football, football, and more football. And if they aren’t on the field they are in the stands because even for those who don’t play it is still the sport that brings people together. It is just as simple as that.
High school students across the country are preparing for the long Friday nights. The same goes for here in Barrow County as the students of both Winder-Barrow High School and Apalachee High School are getting ready for the new season.
It’s a new year, so best of luck to both squads as they aim to not only make their school proud, but also the community of Barrow County. Good luck boys.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. He writes a weekly sports column for the Barrow Journal. You can e-mail comments about this column to