Only a month away from football season, but it’s going by too slowly

Published 6:04 pm Friday, July 24, 2015

The final stretch is here and it’s killing me inside.

We are just a month away from football season. Say the words out loud: one more month. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Trouble is, the wait is, as always, unbearable.

I look forward to everything about football season: the cool weather, the roar of a crowd after a big play, covering games in the Bearcat press box. It all just melds together to make the best time of the year.

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To try and curb my thirst for the ole pigskin, I visited with the Bainbridge Bearcats this week as they practiced out at the high school fields. They were running drills, going over situational kind of stuff.

They were working hard in the nearly 100-degree heat. It takes guts and discipline to get out there every morning and beat your body to a pulp. Agilities, sprints, memorizing plays, countless repetitions, hit after hit after hit—you got to love the sport to play it. I can sense that with this 2015-16 Bainbridge team.

They want the glory. They’ve tasted it after last year’s play-in game win against Thomas County Central. Even with those sharp-looking black uniforms, you could see the sweat stained on the jerseys. They had worked hard to beat the Yellow Jackets. And then came the overtime loss to West Laurens in the first round of the playoff. I still remember what coach Jeff Littleton said to his team of exhausted players following the heartbreaker.

“You’re going to face challenges like this in life, it’s not always going to work out. But you learn from it, and you get better.”

I’m paraphrasing a little bit, but that’s the message he delivered on that cold November night. I think it stuck with those players. Now they’re putting in the effort in the scorching summer heat. They’re putting in those extra reps in the weight room, clearly, because some of these players have grown considerably since the end of last season.

These returning players must be hungry to win. They must be.

Only one more month until football season.