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School Days and Football Friday Nights

Back to school time! It seems to get earlier each year. What happened to those days when you went back after Labor Day? I guess I’m probably dating myself there because it hasn’t been that way in a while. Still, heading back to the classroom during the second week of the Little League World Series, that is something new. In recent years it was the Tuesday after the LLWS championship game for my boys.

So it’s time for the annual school is open, drive safely reminder. There are plenty of distractions already this time of year and driving in general, let alone add in some extra traffic for the completion of the Little League season. Let’s be extra careful out there! Be aware of not only the bus stops and school zones, but the time of day and the normal student patterns so often followed. Young folks have more distractions than ever, keep an eye open for that student with his head down on that cell phone or maybe wearing earbuds and lost in their music. A child darting out from between two parked cars after a ball is still a possibility, but the first two are definitely more commonplace in today’s world.

Back to those not so smart phones or maybe I shouldn’t blame the electronic device. Please don’t text and drive no matter your age. That call can also wait until you’re stopped. However, most vehicles today are equipped with a Bluetooth system built in. Either way, don’t tell me folks aren’t distracted even with the latest technology. You get focused in on who and what you were talking about and, let’s be honest, we are all guilty of that at some point. We all need to focus in on what we are supposed to be doing while operating that motor vehicle of choice, driving defensively and expecting the unexpected.

That split-second you feel the need to send that text message could create a tragedy of a lifetime. No one ever wants this to happen, but like so many things, folks become complacent thinking it won’t happen to them. Again, this is a serious issue of today no matter the age. It can be someone driving to school or maybe a retired individual meeting someone for morning coffee.

Friday night marks the opening of the high school football season. Get out and support your hometown team. Enjoy a cheap night out by today’s standards. I bet you can smell your favorite concession stand food as you’re reading this. Our area athletes, coaches, cheerleaders, bands and everyone involved put in a great amount of time and effort to make Friday Night Lights happen. There is nothing better than a full house to make it special for all involved.

Last year we began bringing you the two best “Games of the Week” in real time at There’s nothing better than enjoying the great tradition and pageantry of Pennsylvania high school football than watching it from the stands. However, we wanted to give those living outside the area, maybe across the seas in the military, those not able to attend and those already at a game, a way to check in on other games while watching their hometown team. The games are archived and can then be viewed anytime at one’s convenience, including those in attendance who might want to watch it again!

It is our goal to promote and support area high school athletics and let the world see how great our West Branch Valley brand of pigskin really is. Maybe along the way help to provide some extra exposure and/or make that special time in a player’s life a little more special. No matter how far you make it up the football ladder, ask any former player or coach, there is just something special about Friday Night Lights.

I am proud to have Gary Chrisman and Cable Sports Productions along with his longtime trusted sidekick Babe Mayer bringing you their “Game of the Week.”

It will be their 31st season of bringing the best of local gridiron action along with his post and pregame shows. Week one has them at Central Mountain as Coach Chuck Cruz and his Millionaires come calling. What a job Coach Cruz and his staff have done in revitalizing the Cherry and White. I can’t wait to see who emerges as the “new stars” for the Millionaires, don’t worry Williamsport fans they’ll be just fine.

My other Friday night team is PA Sports Live. Paul McGinn and Aaron James bringing you their version of the “Game of the Week”. They will be traveling the county and beyond covering our local teams. There are some outstanding rivalries outside the West Branch Valley as the season progresses.

Week one they have one of the best matchups state wide as the Mount Carmel Red Tornadoes invade Ken Robbins Stadium. Loyalsock Head Coach Justin Van Fleet and his Lancers want to avenge a tough 42–41 loss at the Silver Bowl last year, which was one of our first games on and can still be viewed by any Mount Carmel fans that would like to do so. It was one of, if not the, game of the year. Loyalsock rallied late only to lose on the last play of overtime.

So let’s tee it up and get it started. Good luck and great health to all area teams.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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