Monday, August 6, 2007

'Ball Is Back!

The coach chants over and over "Twoontheendtwoontheendtwoontheend!" guiding his burgeoning players through a drill with the seamless noise, volume and pace unknown to humans outside the realm of the gridiron.


The players, drenched with sweat only 15 minutes into the afternoon workout, look at him with a confused, baked-by-the sun look and try to run the drill again... correctly this time.



August is back.... and with it the oppressive heat and two-a-day drills of high school football teams everywhere. It's a neat time of year and at the beginning it's exciting for photojournalists. It marks the end of a long, boring summer covering camps and "community sports" and the gateway to cool[er] fall nights, the stadiums packed with fans, young and old just clamoring to catch a glimpse of the hometown heroes. Old men finally have something to talk about when they sit in that tall reclining chair at the local barber shop.

Most photojournalists have a love/hate relationship with the fall. It indicates hard-worked Friday and Saturday nights, but it also provides us with great stories of young men fighting and clawing to win a battle that will be talked about for the next six days. A battle to prove to themselves, and their towns... that they are the best.


So here is to all our local heroes. As long as you can run drills, get laps and listen to your coaches in the maddening August heat.... I will tell your stories.

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