‘Tis the season

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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For 18 years, it happened without fail.

I woke up with a knot in my stomach on the first day.

Whether it was elementary, middle school, high school or college, the anticipation of a new year always got the better of me. I never slept well the night before classes started, no matter how hard I tried.

Reece Waddell

This year was going to be different.

It had to be – especially since I was not going back to school.

I went to bed early Sunday, and like clockwork, tossed and turned throughout the night. Come Monday morning, I woke up before my alarm with that familiar feeling.

I wasn’t going back to school, but I was going back to work.

High school football returns Friday night after a nearly eight-month hiatus. For me, a sports writer, it means tight deadlines, late nights and endless box scores. For others, it means something completely different.

For coaches, players and parents, Friday nights are where lifelong memories are made. It’s the start of the grind toward eternal glory.

Being the last man standing at the end of December is no easy feat. In Texas, it is nearly impossible.

A group of 14- to 18-year-olds have to come together and gel in a short span. You have to dodge the injury bug, and you have to catch at least a few lucky breaks here and there.

Being crowned a state champion is a tall task in which few individuals can stake a claim. Yet year after year, teams take the field in August to start practices. Each school has the same goal, but only a handful will realize it.

The anticipation of a new football season is upon us. It has reached its boiling point, and the excitement in the community is palpable. The scrimmages are over.

It’s time for the real thing.

And on Friday, when the lights come on, I bet many players, coaches and parents will get that all-too familiar knot in their stomachs.

Let the games begin.

Reece Waddell is the Messenger’s sports editor.

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