There is nothing quite like the Christmas holiday season. We like it so much that we repeat many of the same rituals each year.
We watch the same movies. For us, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the gold standard. Remakes of Christmas songs emanate from the car and stereo speakers.
And for me it is appropriate that Louisiana’s high school football season comes to an end during the holiday season. Not long after moving to Louisiana in the late 1970s, I figured out that “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” was meant to be more than a Christmas song.
If you love football — especially high school football — there is no better time of the year. The chance to follow your team, or in my case, multiple teams, through a deep playoff run to a title game is magical. Playoff rituals are worth repeating.
And if you’re expecting me to interject something here about how the nonselect/select split has changed things … well this time you’re wrong.
It is no secret that I am not a fan of the split. The thing I dislike the most about it is that it takes the focus away from the most precious resource the LHSAA has — the student-athletes.
No one can stop people from talking about it and many of us must report about it as it applies to where select title games are played this week.
But if you are truly a high school football fan of a team set to play in either a select final or a nonselect semifinal, the only split that deserves discussion this week is how to divide up the goodies from the concession stand at the game of your choice.
And if you are one of those fans who loves high school sports and football in general I have just one word for you — Enjoy. Pick a game you want to see and go to it.
There are many possibilities. If you like a game that features dynasties, maybe Zachary at Acadiana or Catholic vs. Rummel is for you. Want a great north-south matchup? How about Union Parish at St. James in 3A in Vacherie. And how about Catholic-Pointe Coupee? The Hornets meet Ouachita Christian in the school’s first title game since 1978.
I know there are Monday morning quarterbacks out there ready to dissect everything a team does wrong. Or a call they think a coach should have made.
Remember, these are high school players — not college or professionals. Some of them will reach both those levels. But on this level what they do won’t be perfect. Mistakes are made and momentum will shift.
But the emotion and passion on display is well worth the price of admission, regardless of which venue and/or teams you choose to see.
So put that Christmas shopping you have to do on hold for the next two weeks. Like I said, this is the most wonderful time of the year in Louisiana for high school football.