Outside the Lines: Game time has arrived for pigskin fans

Outside the Lines: Game time has arrived for pigskin fans By CHRIS MEGGINSON / Sports Editor A new fresh air swept through North Shelby County this past Friday, or at least that's where I felt it. As I was getting into my car I felt the cool in the air after the rains and only one thing was on my mind – football. The chorus and lyrics identifying one of the cores of Friday nights in the south rushed into my head. "Are you ready for some football?!…" While it wasn't Monday night, hearing Hank Williams Jr. over-and-over like a broken record was getting me excited about returning to the sidelines of a high school football field, a place I have not touched since covering games for the high school paper my senior year. It was the equivalent feeling of standing in the tunnel at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn., and looking up at the NAIA women's basketball state championship banners as the Star Spangled Banner played before the opening tip to the '06 title game. It was the feeling of game time, only now back at the high school level after a stint working in college athletics. This new fresh air was most likely felt by more than just me , as the coolness put football in the air. As we all walk through the gates on Friday nights this fall and take our place, we'll wait to see the next great moment in football history for our county, and also look to the number of teams that have won the coveted state title. Football in Shelby County's past consists of memories of Michael Proctor's 60-yard field goal in a 1991 Pelham victory over Mountain Brook or Tyler Watts' 6,838 yards passing over his career. It's the pitch-and-catch from Jeff Flannery that Tim Castille took 99 yards for a Briarwood score and state record against the UMS-Wright Bulldogs in 1999 or Brandon Salser's four interceptions for Chelsea against Isabella in 1989. Other moments that now grace the state record books include Shelby County's Jason Wilkins returning five kickoffs for touchdowns in 1997, the most by any AHSAA player in a season, or the 45-consecutive wins by the 1961-66 Shelby County teams. No matter what the favorite moment may be, one thing is for sure: the list will grow this season and so will the record books.

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