Now that was more like it for a football Friday night.
Sure, the high school football season is already entering its third week, but that first week felt a little bit like a false start – storms that Friday night forced games to be moved to Thursday, Saturday, even Monday night to keep participants and spectators safe from threatening conditions.
Last Friday, though, felt much more like what we've been waiting for since December.
All of our area teams were in action, and all played their games to completion last Friday night – with the exception of Barnwell and Blackville-Hilda, who played a Thursday nighter without incident.
So now it truly feels like high school football season is here, and before we know it we'll be talking about region games, then playoffs, then state championships, then back to waiting once again for the season to return.
We are fully planning on being busy until the very last week of the season, with plenty of teams in the area showing signs of being state championship contenders. Still, those additional weeks don't seem to make the season actually last any longer – it really does fly by.
We take great pride in our coverage of high school football – and, like the players, coaches, cheerleaders and bands, our work isn't limited to just Friday nights.
Each week, we hand out Game Balls to 10 area players who stood above the rest the previous Friday night. We work the phones throughout the week, chatting with our area coaches to break down their upcoming matchups in order to prepare our weekly preview capsules. We produce "The Walkthrough," our weekly show that takes a look at the week ahead in prep football. We present our weekly Chick-fil-A Player of the Week award – OK, we guess that's cheating since it's a fan vote.
And then finally comes Friday nights, of course. We broadcast our Aiken Standard Game of the Week on aikenstandard.com and on our YouTube channel, and we produce additional stories, roundups and photo galleries from the other games.
It's a busy time of year, especially when you consider everything else that's in season. It's a lot of Friday nights that extend well beyond our usual deadline. It's a lot of mileage, especially once our teams start making playoff runs to the various far corners of the state.
Most of all, though, it's a lot of fun.
After all, that's what football season is supposed to feel like.