Football Fever …catch it!

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 1, 2001

Alrighty then, it is time once again, to cover all the teams and their antics and accomplishments on the gridiron.

We at The Greenville Advocate are more than ready for it now.

The dark room has been stocked, and fresh chemicals are ready for those magic moments caught on the five football fields of our county, and stringers have been confirmed, so the information we receive on statistics for each game will be as accurate as possible, to bring to you, the sports fans, the best coverage possible for the high schools in our coverage area.

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Accuracy has too been assured by both the "Gridiron Gurus" at WQZX radio (Q-94) and Mike Spivey, proprietor and webmaster of "ByTheSpy", a popular Internet resource for all those seeking accurate information and facts of the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) teams from our area.

I have seen all the team spirit throughout Greenville, Georgiana and McKenzie in my travels this week, from the markings on vehicle windows, to the kids with painted faces, to the wearing of school-colored clothing.

Everyone has caught the bug - the Football Fever bug, that is.

Even the storefronts and restaurants of Greenville have joined into the atmosphere, with each decorating their windows cheering their favorites on to victory.

Now all we need in order to make this wondrous picture complete is ambient temperatures about 30 degrees less, and the smell of hot chocolate in the air, with leaves falling in various colors.

Three of the five teams in the county will hold their first matches of the year: Greenville, Georgiana and McKenzie - each of them have new head coaches eager to make their marks, to see what their teams can do against an opponent other than their own teammates, and to go on from there to the next game in succession.

Ft. Dale and Greenville Academy both enter into their second pairing of the year, and are each one game wiser for them.

I plan to be a heavy traveler this Friday night, hopefully figuring how to be in four places at once (you never know what I have up my sleeve though, to help pull this off).

I would like to take this moment to welcome our newest member of the Football Fever Crew aboard.

Managing Editor Stacey Killingsworth helped me last Friday to get the sports coverage into Saturday's paper, and this week she will again serve as an integral part of the team.

Who knows, she may even get to snap some shots on a sideline, completing her entrance into football reporting.

But there is one thing I feel necessary to point out to you, my faithful readers.

A lot of preparation has gone into getting each school's program ready to open the season, and to operate from week to week.

Now I'm not talking about coaches and sponsors, they (sort of, anyway) get paid to do what they are doing.

Rather, I am talking about all of the volunteers.

For every game, there are at least four volunteers (usually dads) that pull the chains the officials depend so greatly on for accuracy.

Then there are the parents that take up admissions at the gate - these folks don't get paid to be there, they are just happy to be of help.

Don't forget those concession stand workers - they are the most important, if you consider that hungry and thirsty fans must have nourishment and beverages of choice, all in a speedy fashion so that we, the fans do not miss one single minute of action on the fields.

Then there are the folks, both students and parents or other interested volunteers who take down all the statistics we here at The Greenville Advocate depend so greatly upon in order to get our reports out.

The only thing that we are not sure of being in place is you, the faithful sports fan.

And let me tell you, yours is a very important role.

The students that represent their schools to better the old Alma Mater for the sake of all concerned, they are playing for you.

And it just gives them a rush of a magnitude like you would not be able to comprehend when they look into the stands and see they are full of cheering and loyal fans.

So, whattaya say, let's all come out on Friday night, and show our appreciation for the students, and make them feel it in a big way.

And you will recognize me out there, I'll be the slightly aging kid out there, camera in hand, way out there in Deep Left Field.