JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Football season is here, and it’s my favorite time of the year. Sure, we all love to watch our favorite college football teams play on Saturdays and our favorite NFL teams play on Sundays, but nearly every football player at those levels gets their start under the Friday Night Lights.
The First Coast is one of the top regions in the country for producing top football talent. There are currently a few hundred young men from North Florida and South Georgia that are playing college football. There are a few dozen players in the NFL from our area as well.
Every year I look forward to seeing lots of future stars in action on the high school gridiron.
This will be my 12th season covering high school football on the First Coast. I’ve covered state championship teams from Bolles, Trinity Christian, Camden County, Charlton County, St. Augustine, Nease and University Christian.
I have fond memories of covering the likes of Tim Tebow at Nease, C.J. Spiller at Union County, Cliff Avril at Clay, and Tony Carter at Mandarin. All of those players currently play in the NFL.
In addition to facing top-notch competition, those that play high school football on the First Coast are fortunate that we have some great coaches in our area.
I love visiting smaller towns like Kingsland, Lake City, Palatka, Macclenny, Folkston, Callahan, and Lake Butler. In some cases, the local residents attend the games every Friday night despite not having any family members playing on the field, playing instruments in the band, or cheering from the sidelines.
Our Sideline 2013 coverage will be bigger and better than ever this year, and I’m very excited about it. We could use your help in the following areas:
– Vote for our Game of the Week
– Submit nominations for our Athlete of the Week
– Share your photos with us
– Stay up to date with the latest high school sports coverage from First Coast News
– For those of you on Twitter, follow us @FCNsports
– Use #TeamSideline when discussing the games that your school is involved in.
– Follow us on Instagram at @FirstCoastSports. Tag us in your pictures and videos, and we’ll put you on the news. Also, give your teammates a shout out, show us your school spirit, and tell us who and what to watch for this Friday night.
– Like the First Coast News page on Facebook and our special High School Sports Facebook page. Be sure to post pictures and videos on our wall. This is also a good place to submit story ideas to us. We don’t know what’s happening at every single school in the area, so if there’s a good story, team, athlete, coach, band member, cheerleader, parent, teacher or referree that we need to feature, tell us about it!
– Finally, be on the look out for our First From You Game Box at our games of the week this season. Step inside the booth and record yourself in a video clip that will be sent to First Coast News. The best clips will be put on TV during Sideline 2013.