With Thanksgiving just a few days away, it is a good time for all of us to give thanks for the blessings we have. Let me get the ball rolling.

Sure, there are times when we all feel tired, overextended and even angry about the hand life has dealt us. We've had a pandemic and multiple hurricanes. Even in darker times, there are many things to be grateful for.

Now obviously, I am thankful to have a wonderful family and co-workers who put up with me and my sometimes OCD ways. That is a big job. Having an eight-month-old grandson is a huge blessing I can count in 2021.

But as I traveled the state this week to cover the Ochsner/LHSAA state events for cross country and swimming I soon realized what I missed from 2020 — the fans who attend those events.

Fans numbers were limited for cross country a year ago and no fans were allowed for swimming because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was fun to see fans in the stands in Natchitoches holding big head signs as runners finished the final 300 meters. Several runners told me the cheers were the best part of the race.

Then, the first time I left the work room at the swim meet I actually took a step back. The roar of the crowd cheering at the end of the race was loud. I smiled because I missed that.

High school sports mean more to some of us than others. It is a personal choice. But they should always be considered a blessing. Give thanks for your blessings too.

Playoffs roll on

The football season came to an end for a number of teams on Friday night, but there are still plenty local teams to follow.

Top-seeded Zachary hosts West Monroe in Class 5A. North-South matchups always are grand. The area's other top seed, Division I Catholic High, hosts St. Paul's, which is another appealing matchup.

No. 2 University (Vandebilt Catholic) and Southern Lab (St. Frederick) play at home too. With the exception of Class 3A Madison Prep, which travels to the Monroe area to play Sterlington, even the road teams won't travel too far — think Lutcher at St. Martinville and West Feliciana at Church Point, also in 3A.

Yet again, more great possibilities to go watch a high school football game.

District plan comes out Monday

The LHSAA plans to released its revised district plans for 2022-24 on Monday, says LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine. Schools will have several days to review the updated plan.

A second LHSAA classification meeting was held last week, giving schools their chance to pitch changes to the original plan produced late last month.

Bonine said the final plan will be approved at the LHSAA executive committee meeting set for Dec.1. The executive committee also will set the agenda for January’s annual convention during the same meeting.

All-district teams needed

Football and volleyball coaches from the Baton Rouge area are reminded to submit their all-district teams as soon as possible.

Football teams will not be released until after the LHSAA finals are played. Send teams to rfambrough@theadvocate.com.

Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com