By Jake Herod:
Temperatures dropping, the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, and the popping of shoulder pads on a football field. Three things that instantly come to mind when thinking of Fall in the South. Until two weeks ago, one of these things was missing for Metro Nashville Public Schools. With the return of Metro football, we are also headed toward the return of things being “normal” again.
For a lot of these athletes, Football is a learning ground on how the world works. From learning to communicate and cooperate with co-workers, to being rewarded for hard work and overcoming hardships. These high-school kids were almost robbed of the opportunity to grow both mentally and physically from the toll a football season brings.
Football isn’t everything, but like the SEC, “it means more” in the South and Nashville in particular. Being the most popular sport in this region of the country, there was a large public outcry when the season was postponed for Metro schools. No matter how many parents, coaches, or players spoke out against the postponement, Mayor Cooper didn’t budge on his decision. This meant one thing, be ready to hit the ground running when the green light is given to play the season.
It only made sense for Metro schools to be at the center of attention with their return to action. MYTV30 has made a point to showcase these teams in the two weeks they have been playing. After falling to Alcoa in the 3A State Championship last season, Pearl Cohn was rewarded with their first two games being broadcasted on live TV, winning both in impressive fashion. From a goal line stand in overtime against 5A Hillsboro, to 28 unanswered points against division foe East Nashville, the Firebirds look poised to make another run at a State Title.
While the playoffs are right around the corner, it’s up to the Metro coaches to make sure their players are ready for the task at hand. With their season being only 6 games, the players are at a disadvantage with less time on the field to get into a “groove” with their fellow teammates. At the same time, teams haven’t been hit with injuries like schools from out of county might be dealing with, and the players will have fresher legs which could pay off in a playoff matchup.
Moving forward, all these athletes can do is enjoy every moment they have on the field because once it’s gone, you can never get it back. With cancellations happening almost every week this season, there’s been an extra layer added to the “play it like it’s your last” mantra.
High-School sports are a special thing, full of emotion and passion. We all reminisce on our glory days of playing under the lights in front of all of our friends and family. This season needs to be celebrated by all involved, and the efforts of the coaches who are molding these student-athletes into young men, need to be appreciated for their efforts by everyone.