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Shelby Says: Pigskin and pride

August 7, 2013

By Shelby Woodall

It is in every true American’s blood. When August hits, you cannot help but feel a sliver of anxiety course through your body when the first high school game is around the bend.
Maybe it is the flicker of the Friday night lights or it is the chill every fan gets when the winning touchdown is scored.
No matter what your favorite part of football is, it is undeniable that this is a great American pastime that has been shared throughout the ages.
Some of the greatest sports coaches in history belonged to America’s football teams.
Vince Lombardi won five championships and two Super Bowls.
There’s also George Halas, who within 40 years of coaching, won six championships and had 318 wins.
These men had an emotional attachment to America’s favorite game and it shows from all of their hard-earned success.
From the first football being thrown in 1869 to the Baltimore Ravens taking home the Super Bowl victory on Feb. 3, 2013, football is deep in our hearts. The greatest thing about this game is that it knows no age, gender or race. It is a passion shared by all and practiced by many. Whether you are 6 years old competing in a Little League game or you are 26 facing a fellow NFL opponent, your jersey comes with passion and pride.
After the last note of the national anthem rings out, the helmets go on and the tensions rise.
Coaches spit orders and encouraging words at their players.
Cheerleaders sport bright smiles and uplifting chants on the sidelines.
Fans proudly wear their team’s colors and yell at the top of their lungs when the ball is theirs.
Even if you are just at another home high school game, or if you are at your state’s game, your blood gets hot and you become fired up from kick-off.
I am a proud student of Bryant High School. Therefore, losing is not an event that occurs too often with our team. The Hornet spirit that our students put out is massive. I will miss painting my face and losing my voice from football games. Attending our high school games gets my heart racing and my blood pumping.
At Salt Bowl, everyone shares the same emotions throughout the entire game. If a play turns out unexpected, you don’t only see the sick expression on the coach’s face, but you look around and the same look prevails throughout the entire blue and white audience.
When that ball passes through the end zone, you can bet your money that everyone has chill bumps and that War Memorial Stadium is a loud place.
There are a lot of things that can symbolize America. Nevertheless, I believe football is one of the top five symbols of unity and tradition in our great nation.
Fathers bond over a conversation about their sons that are out on the field. Kids look up to the players as role models. Fans get so into it that they yell at their televisions.
If anything can bring together a group of people, it’s the smell of hot dogs on the grill and the sight of pigskin in the air.
If you would like to share your fondest football memories, I am available by email. Thank you.

Shelby Woodall is a student in the Bryant School District. She can be reached at shelby@shelbysays.com. Her column appears each Tuesday in The Saline Courier.

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