The high school football season is coming to an end, and like many of us, I’ll be sad to see it go.
There’s no other sport that creates the perfect storm of fan enthusiasm, team strategy and community spirit and brings it center stage on Friday each week.
Throughout 10 regular season games, I’m sure I’ve seen most of Darke County at a game to cheer for their home team, and there’s simply no other game that brings in that type of crowd.
The community support has always been strong in Darke County, and during football season it kicks into high gear.
Whether its the parent sacrificing their Friday night to work the concession stand, the chain gang meticulously measuring the field or the school principal pacing the field to question a ref’s call, everyone’s there to show their support.
And when the buzzer sounds signaling the thrill of victory or the crush of defeat, you’re comforted by the knowledge you’re surrounded by friends.
We’ve witnessed a great season of Darke County football this year, culminating with Bradford High School making the playoffs for the first time in 30 years.
For many teams, 2012 saw fresh beginnings under new coaches with new programs. And for the first time in years, Mississinawa Valley was within reach of beating its old Ansonia rivals.
It truly is an exciting time to be watching Darke County football.
Over the next month, I’ll miss hearing the crowds roar as the home team sprints through their team banner and onto the field.
I’ll miss talking about upcoming matches throughout the week with co-workers and family.
I’ll miss the marching band assembling on the field during halftime, knowing they’ve worked all week just to play a handful of songs.
Most of all I’ll miss speaking with the coaches and players of our community that made this fall season special.
Sure, we’ll see many of our student athletes playing new sports, but it’s never quite the same as seeing them don their helmets and pads and march onto a cold, muddy field.
But basketball season marches on, and I’m still looking forward to the change. I can already hear the the cheers echoing off the gymnasium walls.
For one, the games move inside, which is a warm welcome to the 40 degree, rainy weather of the past month.
And basketball brings its own strategies, nuances and athleticism to a different stage.
So as football season closes and we’re left with a three-week hiatus before basketball, it’s a great time to reflect on the fall and remember our local athletes playing their hearts out on the gridiron.
And hey, there’s always the NCAA and NFL to tide us over.
Ryan Carpe is a sports writer for the Daily Advocate. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.