Like most high school football fans, I often get caught up in the glitz and glamour of high-profile athletes.
I marvel at a Marquis McClain or Denzel Ware's skills. Only a small number of players have been blessed with the talent to play major college football.
Think about it:
●Most high school football players will never play at the next level. The majority of those who do have a chance to play college football are more likely to end up at a school like the University of West Florida than the University of South Carolina.
●Most high school football players don’t even have a UWF football career in their future. The average high school player is too small, too slow or too weak to play at the next level. Just a fortunate few might have a growth spurt that allows them to play college football.
●Most high school football players are like Baker’s Dillon Nixon, playing the game they love as long as they can. It doesn’t matter what position they play as long as they are on the field. Just being on the team is enough for some players.
In many ways, a high school football player always remains a football player. We take pride in our team and being a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Many former high school football players spend the rest of their life looking for something to replace that feeling of team. They look at each other as brothers who once were united in a common cause of youth.
Perhaps the hardest thing about having been a football player is not having any more football to play.
My best friend, Ken Hardy, played college football at Auburn University. One evening, his wife, Helen, his son and I were talking about playing football when she turned to Ken and asked why she had never heard him talk about missing the game.
He admitted missing it greatly, but he also said that talking about missing it wouldn’t turn back the clock to the time he was playing the game he loved so well.
Football does have a way of getting in your blood. Football beckons you when you are young and teases you the rest of your life on autumn Friday nights.