Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Friday Night Under The Lights

My life in appalachia - Friday Night Under The Lights
Friday night under the lights = high school football games. I hadn’t been to a football game in over 20 years till last night. I was on a mission-doing a favor for a close friend. It was the homecoming game-so in addition to the usual Friday night game excitement there was the added buzz of girls in beautiful dresses-boys in sharp looking tuxes.

I dreaded going to the game since she first asked me if I would-but I actually enjoyed myself. I told The Deer Hunter-it was weird but comforting to see folks I went to high school with-to realize many of the people at that game-were also at the last football game I attended back in the day. We were students then-now we’re parents with students of our own.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    October 22, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I love it when something I have been really dreading to do turns out much better than expected. Glad you had a good time, Tipper!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    There is so much that goes on at a football game than the sport itself. One of the best times we had as parents was when our kids were in the band or flag corps. There is so much pageantry involved and the participation is a chance for students to develop discipline and self-esteem, contributing to their school. While there may be an unbalanced emphasis on football and cheerleading, (especially when I was in school) I think it is healthy for families and the community.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    October 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I don’t go to them. But, there are only 2 high schools in our county and Friday night high school games are a big thing around here.

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    October 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Tipper: All the comments and recollections about school sports are worthy of discussion. HOWEVER, the one aspect of football which I think goes unnoticed – almost – is that of permanent injuries the players incur! I was so happy that my sons got to warm the bench on the team of the WILDEST FOOTBALL COACH in the world. During the very last game my son’s friends in the bleachers started chantting WE WANT WIKE until the coach finally put him in for one play! He tore the helmet off his ‘man’s head’ and the coach was amazed. He said, “Gee, Wike! I didn’t know you could hit that hard!” Jimmy said, “I can’t – not while I am warming the bench!” That was the end of his football play! We still laugh about it! Now his son stands on the RUGBY sideline and he says he finally understands why mom was so relieved when he was warming the bench in football! Living is such an enlightening experience – at times!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    October 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    A long time ago I never missed a
    game, concerning my school. But
    after my girls finished I ain’t
    had any desire to go. Even when
    I was there, too much emphasis was
    on football and team spirit. My
    dad always said if you could get
    that many folks in church on Sunday, it would be a better world…Ken

  • Reply
    October 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    How wonderful to meet old classmates after so many years!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Isn’t it great to see the old familiar families moving forward down the generations? It’s one of the things I love about living in a small town!

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    October 15, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I have to agree with Jim. I always wonder when these high school kids have time to study. I am sure it is important as a socialization tool, but it’s held in too high esteem. Academics are much more important. After all, how many of these kids are going to play sports for a career??

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    October 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Haven’t been to a football game since my son was in school and that was years ago. Should have went though, they are having our 40 year class reunion and they were meeting up at the football game last night and finishing off tonight for dinner. Probably go to that.. I always loved going to the Homecoming games. Hope you have a nice weekend, Susie

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    October 15, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I whole-heartedly agree with Jim on the school officials being more about the sports than the education, around here they can be out of school for a snow day but that night they have to have to go to a ball game. One teacher told me it was about the money (they lost money in the system if they missed the ballgame), looks like something is wrong here.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

    We bleed orange here in Tennessee!
    As well as the high school blue and gold, blue and orange, red and white, well as any SEC team that plays after Tennesse should loose..and they have been lately..Of course I’m a NC fan and we have a Alabama fan, have to keep up the birth state too…With two boys, uhhh three, counting the better-half..the discussion of games start days before games start..It’s enough to drive you crazy, but I enjoy watching a good football game too, I mean I had to learn to watch football on TV..ha There have been times when one team was broadcast on the radio, another team or two was on the TV and they would “flip and run” back and forth between the two media! Lordy, lordy! I think the “flip and run” is the “arm-chair quarterback play”…LOL
    My greatest JOY is when my high
    school football team beats my husbands high school team! Woe is me if my team gets beat, he rubs it in for days…I sure miss going to the high school games…My husband of course still goes to the Friday night games where the boys went to high school. I can stay home and do the “old flip and run play” while I have the Friday night TV to myself… At least for and hour or so until he comes in and just has to watch all the reviews of the games, winners and losers, of Friday nights games…LOL
    Thanks Tipper…You’ll be attending more of those games, I see homecoming queens in your future!….

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 15, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I haven’t been to a high school football game since I was in high school. Sounds like you had so much fun.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 15, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Tipper–I am pretty sure I didn’t miss a home high school football game at Swain High from the time I was in the second or third grade until I finished high school. To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t attended one since then.
    Football in the high country is a strange beast. It unites communities and is a huge social occasion. On the other hand, in my view the sport in particular (and sports in general) receives far too much attention on the high school level and beyond. I say that as someone who played two sports in high school, two in college, was a university-level head coach for a dozen years, and a Division I official for a quarter of a century.
    Somehow, and it is most notable in high school, the balance between sports and scholarship gets skewed in terrible fashion.
    As an index to how far that imbalance can reach, recently the Swain County superintendent of schools was quoted as saying the three most important things in life were “faith, family, and football.” I have no trouble with the first two, but what kind of message does it send when he puts football ahead of educational development?
    Enough–I’ll get off my soap box, and I’m glad you found you could “go home again” even if just for one Friday night of recaptured youth.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    October 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Dude. Next week, two of my brothers are going to their, more or less, 35-37 year high school reunions.
    Now, if you want October creepy, this is it.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    October 15, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Tipper, Recently, I went to my first high school football game in over twenty years. This year, my granddaughter is in the band, so we sit on the bleachers. Ah, the cycles of life. . .

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 15, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Memories, Tipper, it’s all about the memories.

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