OUR VIEW: Pack our local stadiums on Fridays

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Many of us in the Valley newsroom have been covering high school athletics for a long time, including several years each in Alabama.

There aren’t many states that can equal the Yellowhammer State in their love for football as a whole, and we’d argue that even fewer can compare in their love for high school football.

When Lanett and Valley play, you’re lucky if you can find a place to park and a spot to sit. There are small colleges that wish they could get that kind of crowd.

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It’s the same when Lanett and LaFayette, or any of our local schools play one another.

We love it. Small-town, local high school football atmospheres are unique and give each school their own tradition.

But now we’re at that part of the schedule where most of our area schools are right in the middle of region play, meaning those small-town rivalries are gone.

Instead, Lanett is about to play Notasulga, LaFayette will host Reeltown Friday, Valley will play at Carroll — and the list goes on.

Sometimes the excitement around those types of games can be a little low, just because local teams aren’t playing a big rival. However, these games are even more important as they factor into playoff positioning, and we’ve got several teams that appear headed for the postseason.

This is when some of the crowds can start to be smaller, even in Chambers County, where football is king.

We urge local fans to keep filling football stadiums — even after this week’s busy homecoming week — to ensure our local schools have a real hometown advantage.

Our local players, cheerleaders and band members work hard throughout the year and deserve big crowds. Plus, every win means a better playoff seeding, which can only be a good thing once the playoffs start.