August 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM
High-school football: A fan’s ode to autumn
By Frank Workman
Frank Workman started attending high-school games in the late 1950s. The Lake Forest Park resident roots for Shorecrest when he’s not watching other schools play.
It’s Saturday morning, and the turf is still damp from last night’s drizzle.
It’s still August but there’s an unmistakable chill that portends fall, with clouds and a slight breeze blowing through.
Music blaring. Whistles blowing. Hearts pounding.
A coach, his voice hoarse after three days of conditioning drills.
Players, their muscles likely as sore as the coach’s throat.
A mix of boys, some big and beefy, others as thin as reeds. Strong legs and fresh faces, some with peach fuzz growing. One razor might last the team the whole season.
Enthusiasm abounds. Pads (and bodies) crunch together.
A mom’s handwriting on the top of her son’s Thermos, proclaiming it as his own.
A coaching staff tries to figure out how to take this lump of clay and sculpt them into the team that will perform soon on Friday nights.
Trying to find just the right players to put into each position, to best take advantage of their skills.
Trying to find leaders among the boys who will motivate, encourage, and take ownership of their teammates, for it is the players, not the coaches, who are the team.
It happened Saturday, at every school across the state.
The first day of live contact at high-school football practices.
The season begins on the first Friday night in September.
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