Work for the 2009 football season at Apalachee High School began months ago. Offseason conditioning, work in the weight room, spring drills, summer camps and preseason practice all led up to Friday’s season opener against Monroe Area at R. Harold Harrison Stadium. As the final hours, minutes even, ticked away, players, coaches and fans anxiously awaited a new campaign.
5:50 p.m.: Cars are already turning into the parking lot at Apalachee High School. Volunteers direct fans to one area and booster club members to another.
6 p.m.: The AHS football field has its yard line indicators and hash marks painted in a bright shade of blue, one of the school colors. The field is a plush shade of green from recent rains.
Athletic director Brian Moore tells me he is thankful for the clear sky which has emerged after heavy rains early in the day.
“I never thought it would be like this,” Moore said.
The AHS AD quickly heads off to perform one of his many duties for the evening.
Wildcat defensive coordinator David Wagner is standing on the field surveying the scene. Footballs are in place for pregame warmups.
6:12 p.m.: Members of the AHS band are warming up outside the stadium.
6:16 p.m.: The first group of players from both schools take the field for pregame warmups, among them AHS quarterback Mike Norman.
6:24 p.m.: More AHS players arrive for pregame warmups.
6:30 p.m.: One hour before kickoff.
6:33 p.m.: The remainder of the visiting Monroe Area players take the field for their warmup drills.
6:43 p.m.: Game officials arrive at the stadium.
6:47 p.m.: AHS head coach Shane Davis holds pregame meeting with officials at midfield.
7 p.m.: Both teams have left field to go back into the locker room.
7:09 p.m.: The AHS band takes the field to play the National Anthem.
7:15 p.m.: Bands plays a pregame program.
7:21 p.m.: Monroe Area players converge in their endzone.
7:22 p.m.: AHS captains John Lee, Zack Gentry, Jeff Haney and John Brown emerge from the Wildcat dressing room for the pregame coin toss.
7:24 p.m.: Coin toss is held at midfield with AHS and Monroe Area captains.
7:26 p.m.: AHS and Monroe Area players run to their respective sidelines after running through their pregame banners.
7:28 p.m.: Wildcat players gather around Davis and his coaching staff for final instructions before start of game.
7:29 p.m.: AHS crowd rises to its feet for the long awaited start of the 2009 high school football season.
7:30 p.m.: At long last, the new season arrives. AHS kicks off to Monroe Area and the months of preparation finally pay off as a new season has arrived. In the end, the Wildcats will win the game 31-7. Thoughts quickly turn to week two when AHS will travel to Cedar Shoals.
Chris Bridges is sports editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.