Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 5, 2011

Friday Night Lights

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Friday Night Lights is a popular television show.  It has its setting in a small town in Texas where football is everything. I briefly saw the start of the program one evening when my mind travelled back to my small town and Friday night football!

What a contrast between today’s high school football and my days in high school!  Eleven man football!  Offensive team and a defensive team!  Multiple coaches! Different color uniforms to show you are the home team or visitors!  Only designated players eligible to be receivers!  My how different today’s football in high school differs from my day.

I cannot recall all details about six man football, but enough to know the drastic difference from eleven man!  Everyone on the team was eligible to be a receiver.  You generally only had three men on the line and the other three were in the back field.  Any of the three in the backfield were eligible to receive the snap from the center.  However, the one receiving the snap could not run the ball across the scrimmage line.  He could toss it to another back, who in turn could toss it back to him, or the one who received the snap could then go out for a pass.  It was a fast and rugged game.

Two other details I remember.  The field was only 80 yards long and it required 15 yards for a first down.  The extra point was always a drop kick.  That is such archaic kick that I probably need to explain it . . . but why not ask someone . . . see what answer you get!

Our total number of players were 10.  That meant that there were no offensive or defensive squads.  A player played both sides of the ball.  And there were no jerseys to show the home or visitors.  All the schools  before buying uniforms simply reported to one another to insure that there would not be the same color jerseys.  And the uniforms lasted for several years!

We did not have a football field . . . and most of the county schools did not!  Practice was held on the school yard!  There were two area fields.  And there would be two games played at each field on Friday nights.  It would be a long night if you intended to be at both games.  And everyone intended to be!  It was a great social hour while the other teams were playing!

We had one coach for football!  We had one coach for basketball!  We had one coach for baseball!  One coach that coached all three sports (only sports we had) and he was math teacher also! And he also was the coach for the girl’s basketball!

Sports did not overlap.  After all, you could not begin basketball season — even practice because there was only one coach — and basically the same players.  Oh, there were some that played only one sport or only two, but the majority of athletes were needed for every sport.

We also did not have a gym for basketball.  Practice was held outside on the school yard.  If it rained, we simply went inside for exercises.  However, before I graduated, we did have gym and football field.  And, oh, yes, a lady coach for the girls.  Now girl’s basketball was different!  Six players —  three on each side of the center line, and unable to cross over.  You were either an offensive player or defensive.  Later it was changed where one could cross the line!

Much of this really sounds like ancient history!  It is or it is not!  Depends on your age and where you went to school!  For me, those were exciting days.  We were not exposed to anything different and so we assumed it was as good as it could get!  I guess perspective on what you have is everything!

Would I want to go back to those days?  Yes . . . but only because I would be that age again and could live those years again!  But I would only want to do it with the wisdom and perspective on life I have now.  Oh, I would have grasped more opportunities to live for my Christ!  I really blew it in those days!  And because of that, I missed much of the spiritual joy that could have been mine.

But I cannot go back.  But I can be grateful for today and the opportunity.  It is my desire to not blow the opportunity today!

Friday night lights on the football field and in the gym were exciting . . . but the Light that shines in my heart outshines them all.  And that Light is not limited to Fridays!

“I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  (John 8:12)



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