43 years later and still loving my job
Wow, here I am still chasing those Friday Night Lights 43 years later.
This is without question the most wonderful time of the year, especially if you are a fan of high school football.
The first high school game I covered as a photographer/reporter was Gilbert and Iaeger, one of the fiercest rivals in southern West Virginia. I rode along with reporter Rick Flowers, a great friend of mine, who, like myself, was a graduate of Man High School.
We spent so many Friday nights on the road. It was then I realized this was my dream job.
I've spent the past month traveling around the region, meeting with players and coaches to feature in this year's Pigskin Preview edition. It will be showcased in the Medical Leader's August 25 edition.
But it's what I love to do. Being around the players and having the opportunity to report on their accomplishments can't be matched.
Next Friday night, we kick off another high school football season. Friday nights are truly special. Anyone who is a fan of the game understands what it means to the people of our region.
Football is king in the mountains. It has been for a long time. We are blessed with a number of outstanding players and teams.
Our Pigskin Preview will take a closer look at teams throughout Pike, Floyd, Letcher, Johnson and Mingo County. There are 15 high school teams that provide us with thrills and memories of a lifetime.
All the hard work that has gone into this special edition wouldn't have been possible without the support and help of many coaches throughout the area.
Without their help, and the support of our advertisers, our football edition would not have been possible.
To each of you, I say, "Thanks!"
Yes, high school football is back and I'm glad to be a small part of it. Every late Friday night is rewarded by being able to write the storyline from each and every game.
I just hope many of you get the same satisfaction of watching and cheering on your favorite teams as any sports writer does covering it.
Can Belfry, Johnson Central and Mingo Central all repeat as state champions?
What will the first year of Floyd Central bring us?
Is this the year Paintsville breaks through to the big stage?
Only time will tell.
Let's all enjoy another great season of high school football. It kicks off August 18.
— Teddy Paynter can be reached at 606-218-4932 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.