1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Small Town Friday Nights

Alex McLaughlin - June 12, 2014

My mind races across time to near the edges of my memory. In small, sweaty, locker rooms in aged schools in Fayette, Greenbrier, Monroe and Summers Counties, I and my teammates would sit on wooden benches and listen enthralled as dad, with his terse reasoned pleas, would exhort us to be brave, engaged and forceful as we sought out collective excellence. We would then charge out on to the grassy fields, stuck between the mountains, oblivious to anything but pride in our grey uniforms and helmets with maroon numbers. And our commitment to seek glory for us and all those in our little river town. Through travels and serendipity I later became a soccer player, youth soccer coach, and referee.

The Soccer World Cup starts tomorrow and I will watch most games and live and die with our American team. Still to this day, nothing compares to a small rural high school football game on a Friday night when a school has a good run of kids and the hopes and dreams of an entire community ride on the efforts of their young heroes. In a way, the game is almost anticlimactic to when the kids proudly first run out on to the field with the band playing and the fans cheering. And then the sides will engage with the sole timeless objective as one Greenbrier West fan succinctly put it, " to knock the snot out of them boys"

Please enter your name to comment.  Comments should be read from the bottom up to get continuity.