Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Night Lights

Yes! It is Friday afternoon and for many of us, that means we will be heading out to watch a high-school football game tonight.

I am headed for Poteau to watch the Pirates host Mena.

Over the last few years, I have not been to many games. Last year, I went to one. This year, I have already been to one so I will double my production from last year!

I used to go to a game every Friday but got out of the habit. But it was always there, the itch to go watch a game.

Now that I have the Journal going, I have a good excuse to go to a game every week and that is what I plan on doing unless all the county schools are playing in Timbuktoo and I doubt that will happen very often, though.

Each week I will try to select the game which is most important, not just whichever game is held closest. If that was the case, I would watch Heavener playing at home tonight against Westville. I watched the Wolves play last week, although I didn't have the web site up and running and did not report it.

Sadly, I feel the Wolves are in for a tough time tonight and believe the Poteau game will be better and a little more important in the grand scheme of things. After all, Heavener is 0-2, Poteau is 2-0.

Nuff said.

After escaping college, I had a pretty cool job as a sports writer for the now defunct Denison Herald. (I must point out here that the Herald did not go belly up until long after I was gone so I am not responsible, at least I don't think I was).

It was a good gig. I got paid to go watch sporting events. Sadly, I did not get paid much to go to sporting events or to answer the phone in the office and explain why I failed to include the important results from Lousiana Downs the previous day.

Yeah, that's like the perfect job for me. Like most jobs, everything wasn't perfect. In addition to getting cussed out for the lack of racing results, I had to be at work at 7:30. That would be in the a.m., not p.m. My body did not react well to mornings then. Now, it wouldn't be a problem but for a 24-year old guy just out of college?

Let's just say I wasn't always bushy tailed and bright eyed when it came time to go to work. Also, some of the people I had to deal with (i.e. coaches) were kind of a jerk at times. Plus, I had to cover some things that were about as exciting as watching snail races.

In my journalistic days, I have covered sporting events from Midland to Austin to Marshall in Texas. I have covered a few in Arkansas and a lot in Oklahoma. I have been to Ardmore in the south to motionless H2O (otherwise known as Stillwater) in the north. There have been games at OU, Claremore, Colcord, Hugo, Ada and many other places.

Some of the games are memorable. Others, not so much. I have frozen my tush off (literally) and sweated my rear off. There have been games in the snow, driving rain storms, mud deeper than my ankles and fog so thick I couldn't see the other sideline.

But I still like it. And I still get excited prior to every game, just like I will before Mena's game at Poteau tonight. Will tonight's game be one I remember five years from now? Probably not. I hope to still be able to remember my name five years from now.

I do hope to be going to some football field in the county five years from now, watching a bunch of 15-18 years old make memories they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Just like the ones I remember from way back when I was a chubby guy wearing #15 and playing quarterback for the Heavener Wolves. And no, we weren't that good. But the memories are priceless and helped forge friendships and relationships I still treasure to this day.


  1. Hey Craig! its great to see you back online. I was a fan of HeavenerOnline. I think the "county" angle is a terrific idea

  2. Hey Craig. This is a great idea. Thanks for doing it. - Jim Patterson