Chants, smells, passes and punts are in the air
SHEPHERDSTOWN — The marching bands fill the field. Spirit-lifting smells of hot dogs, popcorn, french fries and nachos smooth the still-hot air.
Students with face paint and wearing school colors clump together to support the home team. Many adults are seeing each other for the first time since the final home game of the previous season.
The public address system touts game programs, concessions and the names of the cheerleaders.
And then from the near darkness of the end zone come the players, breaking through a cardboard/paper contraption with the school letters on it, and another high school football season is here to celebrate.
Following the performance of the National Anthem and possibly the school fight song, the team captains from both sides come to midfield for the ceremonial coin toss.
The crowd stands as if it will miss something earth-shaking on the opening kickoff.
A kicking specialist rushes toward the waiting football, and the new season is underway.
Rumors have been floated through the pre-season about how the team did in its scrimmage games.
Who looked “good.” Who won a close competition for a starting position. Who among the adults enjoyed the best beach vacation of the summer.
Are you really ready for school after such a short summer?
Football welcomes a new school year. It’s Friday night, and old and new friends join together to see the on-field and off-field sights and to be seen themselves.
Plans are made firm about where the friends are going to eat after the game.
A touchdown by the home side! Check the scoreboard. Listen to the band play the fight song.
The elementary school crowd finds grandma and her waiting change purse, for some money for a soda and some nachos.
It’s halftime and the band gets the attention of the favorably impressed crowd.
The second half doesn’t have the change-of-season freshness as did the opening session.
But it’s definitely football season once again. And the comfortable routines of the late summer and early fall are as favored as an old sweatshirt and well-worn jeans.