Commentary: MHS football like no other

Published 4:34 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sometimes, two things just seem like they were meant to go together: Peanut butter and jelly, movies and popcorn, rain and sleep…Maplesville and football.

After my latest fall experience at the school, I’ve come to the conclusion that no one does football like Maplesville.

The visit was for a story about tailgating at football games that will be included in our upcoming lifestyles magazine, Peach Living. I was lucky enough to draw the assignment–and insisted that a firsthand account of Maplesville’s pregame festivities would be necessary.

Of course, the nice people that tailgate before Red Devils games welcomed me on down. I was told only to “come hungry.” It was obvious why. There was food everywhere.

It wasn’t easy to put off stuffing my face so I could snap a few photos and talk to some folks about their recipes, but I did have a job to do after all. After getting everything I needed for the story, I was finally able to enjoy some of the local cuisine, and it did not disappoint. There was pork and beef and grilled vegetables and fried biscuits and all sorts of other fare.

Right in the middle of the feast, there was another Maplesville tradition I was unaware of. The players, in a line, walked out of the fieldhouse and through the fans–slapping many high fives in the process–on their way to the field for warmups.

The food was amazing but perhaps even more so was the sense of oneness. The social events that are high school football games can bring together people from different walks of life, but at Maplesville, it seems as though everyone has only one thing in mind: cheering the Devils to another win.

Like most week, that’s exactly what everyone got to do last Friday as MHS dismantled Holy Spirit, 49-0. It’s hard to say if the Maplesville football experience would be the same were it not for all the success the team has had–or, for that matter, whether the Devils would have won so many games without such passionate fans. The two seem to go together–at Maplesville as well as at any other high school program.

–Dawkins is the assistant managing editor for The Clanton Advertiser.