COMMENTARY: Friday night lights about more than football

Get out of the house, support our community's young people

The phenomenon that has come to be known as “Friday night lights” is about more than high school football.

Whether you have school-aged children in your household or not, you are probably aware that Center and most other Shelby County area schools resumed classes over the past couple of weeks.

With the start of a new school year comes a variety of activities students will be participating in – including football.

For Center, the first game of the new season is this coming Friday night at our own Roughrider Stadium. I hope you will take the time to support the community’s young people in at least some of the extracurricular activities they participate in throughout the year.

And attending Friday’s football game would be a good place to start. Even if you are not a fan of the sport of football you should find something about the event to your liking.

After all, the truly American tradition of what we refer to as “Friday night lights” is about a whole lot more than high school football.

For many cities these games are a rallying point of drawing a community together. A ball game is a place where you can meet longtime friends who you might not often see otherwise.

Then there is the band striking up its members’ horns, beating on the drums and tooting on the tubas. The pre-game and halftime festivities with the band, color guard, flags and cheerleaders should give us all a lot to cheer about.

While the players on the field may be the focal point of the evening, some of the most talented athletes showing up are on the sidelines may not be decked out in football helmets and pads.

I’m always amazed at the agility shown by cheerleaders as they jump, yell, sing, perform a variety of gymnastic routines and work at getting the audience in the stands involved at cheering their team on.

All of these students have put their time and talents to work as they have practiced hours on end. They are investing in themselves and their community in a positive, productive way.

Instead of lying on the couch at home playing video games or dragging the boulevard, these students have been involved in honing their skills and learning what teamwork is all about.

Whether your favorite Friday Night Lights adventure is in Shelbyville, Timpson, Joaquin, Tenaha or Center please turn out to support the youth of our communities.

Let us turn out on Friday night to enjoy the show, watch and listen to the band as they march, watch the sideline show put on by the cheerleaders, meet old friends or make new ones.

Maybe you’ll even want to watch a little football.