It seems like years since we've seen a football game that counts. This Friday, the wait is over.
High School teams across Alabama and Georgia will play their first games of the regular season on Friday. In fact, some teams are playing on Thurdsay night. In Alabama, those games were scheduled, while some Georgia teams are moving to Thurdsay night in an effort to avoid Hurricane Irene.
This is the best time of year. Every team is full of hope, and the playoffs seem like a real possibility for everyone. Teams will never be fresher, or more energetic than they are in the first week of the season. From the youngest player on the team to the oldest coach, and to all of the fans, this time is truly magical.
It's no different for people who cover games. At WTVY, we're preparing for our first Friday Night Football show of the year. From 10:35 until 11:05, we'll bring you scores and highlights from all of the areas top games. We work all week to make the show successful, then in 30 minutes, it comes and goes, and we start all over.
The week leading up to the first show is always exciting, but I have to admit, I'm also a little bit nervous. This is my first Friday Night Football. In fact, it's the first show for the entire sports team, with Ben Stanfield joining me as co-host this year, and Paul Stockman moving in as the live reporter from our game of the week.
We have some big shoes to fill, and we know it. WTVY launched Friday Night Football in 1989, and for the past 31 years, at least one original member of the show has remained. Al Roberts won't be back this year. He passed away in December. Al was a legend in local TV sports, but more importantly, he was my friend. I think about him often, and I would've loved to have worked with him on my first show. As fate would have it, that won't happen, but he'll be on my mind this Friday night. He set a high standard, along with other former WTVY sports teamers like Marc Hall, Kelly O'Donnell, Chris Harris, and of course Brad Sherwood.
Along with scores of shooters and a fantastic production team, they made this show an institution in the Wiregrass for the past 31 years. We hope to continue that tradition this year, brining you all of the scores and highlights you care about, and having some fun along the way.
I'd like to dedicate this season to everyone who came before and set the stage for us to be here. now. Most importantly, I want to dedicate the season to Al Roberts. People like me wouldn't have a job if he hadn't paved the way all those decades ago. And, Al was a true gentleman. He never met a stranger, and touched more lives than anyone I've ever met. This season is for you Al. I hope we make you proud.