Football takes more than the teams

Published 12:58 am Sunday, September 21, 2008

The next time you attend a high school football game take a few minutes to think about all the effort it takes to provide you a couple of hours of fun and excitement.

We all know the team and coaching staff have to work hard all week to prepare for the Friday night game and certainly appreciate their efforts. We also know and appreciate the hard work that the band goes through to keep us entertained and inspired all during the game and at halftime. Cheerleaders work hard also to keep us cheering the home team on.

But there are many others who work hard every week to make our Friday nights at games enjoyable.

There are the people who help locate parking for us. They have to arrive at the game early to help make order out of the driving congestion in and around the stadium.

There are the people who sell tickets and operate the entrance and exit gates. There are many others who work in concession stands the entire game and never have the opportunity to see a game played.

Members of athletic clubs and band booster organizations are always on hand to lend a helping hand to coaches and band directors. The officiating crew travels some distance and play an important role in the game every week.

There are people who run the scoreboard, keep official time clock, cut the grass on the field, line off the field and clean up the stadium before and after games. There are others who sell programs, keep game statistics for the coaching staff and EMTs and/or ambulance personnel who are on hand in case serious injuries occur.

Law enforcement officers assist by directing traffic into and out of stadium areas and remain at games to keep people safe.

I’m sure my list above has missed others who donate their time to allow us to enjoy high school football each week, but the list gives you an idea of the many people in addition to the teams that make the football experience possible. I have been associated with high school football for more than four decades and still enjoy covering games. The excitement is still there every time the football is placed on a tee.

I wanted to use this space this week to thank all those who play a role in making high school football weekends fun for all of us in Chilton County. As you go to the remaining games this year, look around and see how many people are involved and I’ll bet you will want to thank them, too.

– Mike Kelley is the publisher of The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears on Sundays. He can be reached at