Column: Chilton County Friday night lights is here

Published 2:43 pm Friday, August 26, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

After the long anticipation, last week was my first taste of high school football action in Chilton County, and it did not disappoint.

Jemison High School and Thorsby High School was the first game of the season on Aug. 18 and my first chance to catch the action live and in person. The atmosphere was electric, and the game itself was a good as well. Jemison jumped out to an early 12-0 lead, but Thorsby stormed back with 28 unanswered points in the first half and never lost the lead again.

I was able to get to Billingsley High School on Aug. 19 and Chilton County High School on Aug. 25. After covering the Isabella High School and Maplesville High School game on Aug. 26, I have covered six of the seven county schools in two weeks. That is a lot of football, but the atmospheres and passion at each school make each game and program unique in their own way.

The coaches are all personable, and the relationships I have built with them is helping benefit the coverage of the games, which is a win for everyone. I have learned a lot about them and why they dedicate so much energy and time into coaching high school football. They are making my job easier, and really fun as well.

The crowd is into the game, and they are knowledgeable about the situation. People in Chilton County know their football, and that is something that I love about the area. I was able to talk to the Clanton Kiwanis Club about the upcoming season and the 2022 Kickoff magazine. It was good to just talk local football with people from around the county, and it is awesome to see how many fans each school has. There were questions about Verbena High School to Chilton County, and with the massive difference in student body size, I really like to see that.

Every school has their pocket of dedicated fans that come out in droves every Friday night to support their players. It is a family environment at a lot of these high schools too, and I am really happy I get to cover that firsthand.

Hearing the marching bands, seeing the two colors clash on the field and intensity the coaches and players bring brought back memories of watching my high school play. South Iredell High School won the state title in 2012 and my freshman year there, and it was one of the coolest experiences going to see them accomplish that.

There is a lot of talent in all of the high schools in Chilton County, and I hope I get the opportunity to cover players achieving their dreams here by capturing a state title, too.