Another fall sports season is upon us. Preseason practices are entering their final stages and finally, the games have begun. Or, will in the coming week.
There are many things that go into preparing for a season. And, it is not just for coaches and players.
For some reason, the fall season is my favorite. Maybe it is the crisp weather. Maybe it is the whirlwind of sports happening all at once. Or, it is the exit of summer?
Let's just say summer is not my favorite season. Why, you ask? Summer sports are all well-and-good, but they often times lack the organization of high school sports.
I like having a website where I can target what games are happening when and plan around it.
Fall sports offer a range of things for the soccer fan to the football fans, such as myself and golf. I never understood why golf is played in the fall? Maybe it is because tee times are more reasonably priced at the courses.
That's just a guess, after all, I am not a golfer.
With the coming of fal, it means my Friday nights are jam packed with high school football.
I would not have it any other way. College football started last Thursday night, the pros started yesterday, but tonight some Mass. high school teams take the field (none from our coverage area).
High school football is the sport in its purest form. There is no video replay on close calls. You take what the official sees with the naked eye as the final word.
When a kid breaks for a touchdown or an undersized defensive lineman beats the much bigger guy in front of him that no one thought he could.
That's real football.
There are no exorbitant salaries, merchandising or television contracts.
We are entering year two of the MIAA State Football Playoff pilot system and last year was a strange one for local athletic directors. Hopefully, everyone has adjusted. I still like the Super Bowl system more.
I don't like how each school has an eight game regular season where they are actually playing for something, but those last three weeks are used for playoffs and meaningless games determined by a points system.
Here is my solution, start the season a couple of weeks earlier. North Carolina and Georgia are already two weeks into their regular season before Massachusetts schools have played a single game. My understanding is their championships are wrapped up by the end of November, just in time for winter sports. But, we shall see how the MIAA tweaks the system after this season.
The same goes for high school soccer. I have yet to see any sponsorships on the front of high school soccer jerseys like that of the professional players. I would not be surprised if they existed somewhere. Heck, maybe it would be a good way to offset user fee costs with local sponsorships.
There is always that excitement that swirls around the community businesses about how the local team will be this year.
Everybody knows somebody on a high school team, whether it be a neighbor, family member or friend -- that's what makes covering high school sports so great. Granted, some take high school sports more seriously than others, but we must remember it is a game.
It is not life or death.
Serving up a pick-six interception or letting a last second goal sneak by will not matter next week or 10-years down the road. But, the memories of the time spent on the playing field with a group of close friends with a common purpose will.
Sometimes I wish I could forget that 0-11 senior football season at Clinton High School in 2007, but the memories were worth way more than the record at the end of the season.
It was about the bonds made with teammates that in most cases last a lifetime.Cross country is also back in action with Groton-Dunstable's girls' team looking to be a preseason threat to take the Midland B league this season.
Come November, I hope to be on the sidelines, sipping a coffee, while you battle to bring hardware back to your school.
Now, go out there and make it a fall season to remember.
Follow Ed Niser on Twitter/Tout:@EdNiser