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The Class of 2020 Kicks it Off

A welcome back to school to all students, especially the Class of 2020. Growing up when I did, that almost sounds like a science fiction movie of the day. The title probably something like “Space Odyssey 2020” or maybe “Halloween 2020.” Jason’s grandson returns to terrorize high school graduates working a summer camp before they start college. They can’t call for help because there is no cell service.

Back in my day, the 80s, Prince was singing his hit “1999,” which lyrics included “two thousand zero zero party over, oops, out of time.” The year 2000 was looked at as futuristic, and by naysayers as the possible end of the future. I’m sure many can remember all the hype, especially how everything involving a computer was going to crash. Good thing we all didn’t have cell phones back then, can you imagine the hysteria social media would have created?

To millennials, the 2000s are just a normal timeline of their development. However, to me, those numbers still have some sort of mystical, awe of the future about them. It’s amazing how much of the technology of today was in SciFi TV shows way back when. Just think of “Star Trek” and their communicators and watches. Folks today couldn’t live without these high-tech devices, which were first seen on TV in the late 60s. I’m still waiting on the transporter room to make traveling so much easier. I would be beamed up to Hartford, Connecticut, watch Hunter play football, then be beamed back. Total travel time, two minutes.

I am definitely not a cynical of millennials and the young people of today, as many are. I think it’s unbelievable what they do and how they understand all the technology around them. They truly have infinite information and opportunity at the tips of their fingers.

Young folks today have more education, athletic and overall opportunities than I could have ever imagined in the mid-eighties. If you have the talent and put in the hard work, it doesn’t matter where you’re from; you’ll be found. The world has been made much smaller for recruiters by the technology of today. Travel opportunities not only in sports, but music, and competitions of the mind, give local kids a chance to be seen across the country.

This is where I give a tip of the hat to our area’s young people of today; they’re putting in the hard work in the classroom and at whatever other interest is near and dear to them. Local kids are excelling at music, the arts, and so many things that used to be an afterthought after your high school years. Many now go to college not only to get an education but also to participate in another activity. Many receive scholarships, not only for sports but academics, music, equestrian, bass fishing, and much more — the list goes on and on.

With all the opportunity, there’s a most significant price to pay. Our young people work harder than ever running down their dreams, another 80s music reference to Tom Petty. It’s pretty much a seven-day-a-week proposition, with days off being far and few between. Did I mention most also work a part-time job to pay toward their future endeavors and to have some cash in their pocket? Tip of my 1980 Phillie Throwback cap to all the students of the West Branch Valley.

It’s that time for my yearly public service message; school is open — drive safely. There have never been more distractions while driving. That is even considering the fact of how many just flat-out bad drivers there are. Many of whom just drive by their own rules.

It is up to the person behind the wheel to pay special attention while driving in that school zone or traveling during bus hours. Expect the unexpected. You were young once; I’m sure you remember a time as a young pedestrian when you weren’t exactly focused on everything going on around you. But lucky for you, the driver of the vehicle’s path you ended up in front of was. Let’s all be extra careful out there.

The Pennsylvania tradition of High School Football has already kicked off. Get out and take in the festivities — the glow of the lights, the smell of the concession stands, and perfectly lined fields. The sound of the band, the roar of the crowd, and the cracking of the pads — there’s nothing like being there in person. Please get to your local stadium and support your hometown team.

If you can’t make it to the stadium or want to watch a replay we have you covered. is again the home of Friday Night Lights. Two great local Grid Iron match ups found at one site. I am honored to again be teaming up with Gary Chrisman and Cable Sports Productions. Gary and Color Analyst Babe Mayer are Hall of Fame broadcasters. They’re working towards their fourth decade of airing the best local sports has to offer.

You can also view our Webb Weekly game of the week. Veteran play-by-play man, Paul Bo will be joined by former South Side Head Coach Rich Zalonis. Mark Mussina will also be joining the team when the Montoursville Warriors are taking the field. The three combine to make a great team.

Don’t forget about Touchdowns and Tailgates every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Gary, Chris “Doc” Massey of the Sun-Gazette and I will be reviewing, previewing and interviewing the teams’ players and coaches. Remember all games and Touchdowns and Tailgates are archived and can be watched anytime for your viewing pleasure.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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