Friday night lights: bringing us together

Published 5:28 pm Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It’s still August, and summer’s dog days haven’t made their exit yet, but one thing gives us expectations of autumn and cooler nights and days – high school football is back.

While the community colleges won’t start their season until next week, all of our area high school squads took to the field Friday night, much to the delight of a host of sports fans.

While providing some worthwhile enjoyment for athletes and fans alike, football is also one of many positive extracurricular activities that add depth and breadth to the high school experience.

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For most students, the all-important blend of “reading, writing and ‘rithmetic” also includes a combination of activities like football, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, golf, soccer, band, cheerleading, theatrics, dance and/or a multitude of academic competitions, clubs and volunteer programs.

While kids probably just think of these activities as “having fun,” sports and other extracurricular programs teach important lessons about teamwork, discipline, organization and deferred gratification. In the process, students learn pastimes that may very well stay with them for a lifetime. For some, activities like sports or band may even translate into a scholarship to college.

While academics remain the heart of education, there’s also a lot to be learned from sports and other extracurricular programs.

Sporting events like Friday’s football games also benefit our community as a whole, bringing community members from diverse backgrounds together in one place for a common purpose.

So get out and support our local kids and their efforts – the weather will be getting cooler soon, and the sun will be setting earlier, making those bright stadium lights easier to find on Fridays.