Auburn High defense

With the prospect of high school football returning looking like a reality, at least for the near future, there is a lot of excitement over the return of the South’s beloved sport, and with that equally shared wariness over the safety and uncertainty that lies ahead. 

Throughout the state, the response to the pandemic has been varied, with some high schools going full steam ahead while some have closed down their sports entirely. 

It cannot be said enough times that as we move forward there is no right decision, and I personally would not want to be in the room of decision making. No matter what happens people’s livelihoods will be affected. There is a great interest in public safety, as there should be. But when it comes to high school football, fall sports, and the high school years, it cannot be underestimated the value of high school and the memories made there. 

As a recent graduate myself, a former player, and now broadcaster of the great sport of football, the value of high school has never been higher. 

I have never felt the want to be in school as much as I have now. I have seen people who, five or six months ago wanted nothing more than to leave school, who have said that they can’t wait to go back. 

But when you look at what makes high school so special and you begin to realize why. As you go through the classes, through the years, you struggle, you have fun, and you create important memories as you grow up and mature. 

I’m sure that you, the reader, have both fond memories from your time in high school as well as hard memories that forced you to grow. That is a sentiment not only reflected within the walls of school, but arguably more-so on the football field. 

When you play football, you are challenged day in and day out to be a better player, and if your coach is worth any salt, a better man than the one you were the day before. 

You form a bond with those around you who help you through the bad days and who celebrate with you on the good days. You form a community that helps you learn how to deal with people from different background, and you find your few people who you can invest in and grow with. 

High school, football, and fall sports in general are needed not only for the memories, but for the life lessons learned, the friendships made, and the love shared that just doesn’t happen in the same way in any other settings. 

Like I said earlier, there is no right decision and the well-being of people is always the top priority. But something should be said for high school football returning, not so that we the people have something to finally watch, but to give these people the chance to make the formative memories we all got to make. 

I believe it is in the best interest of the young athletes to allow them to form these memories as best and as safely as possible, because the one thing you can never take back is the time you should or could have spent investing in another person’s life and growing as a person. 

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