I went 10 weeks of the football season without getting wet.
And most of those 10 weeks, the temperatures were nice, too, which meant shorts and short sleeves.
But that changed the past couple of weeks.
It was cold and coming a downpour the next to last week of the season and then thunderstorms the final Friday.
I think I’d only experienced once before what I experienced this past Friday night while covering Marshall Academy’s second round playoff game.
Leading up to the game, most everyone was watching the weather radar. And it was changing, almost by the hour.
But come game-time, it was obvious a storm was in direct route for Patriot Field.
It arrived at half-time, and lightning sent the game into three 30-minute delays.
And an already muddy field, from rains earlier in the day on Friday, got even muddier.
I went through a delay about 30 years ago when covering the Itawamba Community College Indians in Moorhead (Mississippi Delta).
That night I was pretty much forced to the press box to cover the game.
This time around, the past two weeks of the high school football season, I did not give in to the shelter of the press box.
I still walked the sideline, somehow balancing an umbrella under my left arm and still managing to write on my note pad with my right hand.
Thank goodness, I had Dillon Day and Theresa Bolden Devore handling the photography. And they were under umbrellas, too.
The game this past Friday night finished at about 11.
At least unlike the game 30 years ago, I didn’t have to drive a long way home.
It seems this football season flew by.
It started in late July and early August, taking photos of teams’ first practices. And it concluded November 3.
As far as records go, it wasn’t the best of seasons overall for the majority of our teams in Marshall County. But there were plenty of success stories – as the teenagers kept battling through injuries and other adversities.
And, trust me, the victories in any sports season go far beyond the final scores of the games.
I saw lots of heart from the Hawks, Lions, Patriots, Cardinals and Indians this season. It’s always a joy for me to be on the sidelines with these high school athletes. The players and the coaches always make me feel welcome.
I’ve said this time and time again, but covering high school sports at a community newspaper is all about the players.
I still have clippings from my hometown newspaper when I played high school sports. It’s all about cherishing the memories.
Parents, if you’re not clipping out articles and photos about your child’s high school years (athletic and academic accomplishments), do it. They will appreciate it on down the road.
Thanks to everyone who pitched in to help The South Reporter give Marshall County top-notch coverage this football season. It was indeed a team effort.