It’s almost game week.
After months of anticipation, lifting weights and sultry days spent doing 7-on-7 the 2014 high school football season makes its unofficial debut this week.
Note I said almost here. This week’s football jamborees are just a dress rehearsal for the season ahead that starts the following week.
I have two words of advice for fans, coaches and players ready to storm their way through the season — pace yourself. Maybe brace yourself is more appropriate.
A football season — really any season — should be treated like a fine bottle of wine. Savor it and enjoy it. Learn to roll with the flow just a bit.
Don’t jump to conclusions if your team’s scrimmage and jamboree don’t go as well as you would like.
I’d like to think I’ve learned at least a couple of things in 24 seasons of covering high school sports in the Baton Rouge area.
One is the value of patience. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, a football season isn’t structured based on a couple of weeks.
Like a good mystery story there will be ups and downs. There will be triumphs and also times when taking a few lumps amounts to the only option.
The thing that amazes me each fall is the possibilities.
Most teams, and not just football teams, typically improve so much during the first month of the season. There’s a growth process and a learning curve.
It’s much like the education process. Teachers mentor students to learn and comprehend things that expand their horizons. Coaches do much the same thing with the end result being an athlete is doing things he or she never realized was possible.
I also like the unknown.
Every year we talk about the favorites. Plenty of information about top players and teams will be included in our high school preview section that hits newsstands Tuesday.
However, each year there also are players and teams that seemingly come out of nowhere to be successful. We all sit back and wonder “How did they do that.”
Like everyone else, their seasons started with a dream of success that was built on hard work and belief that anything is possible. And then they made it happen.
Now if I could explain how they made it happen I’d be rich. There would be a book on the market to describe what to do step by step.
That’s the magic of sports, including high school football. It’s physical. It’s mental. And it’s brimming with emotion.
And it’s football season.
Football jamborees are a quandary for many schools. Some would rather have a second preseason scrimmage. Others would rather start the season.
Port Allen coach Guy Blanchard offers another suggestion. What about building in an open date like colleges teams and conferences do?
It’s an intriguing idea, but given the other issues the Louisiana High School Athletic Association currently has with its split football championships and a possible split in other sports, I doubt it will get much traction.