It seems many highly anticipated events ó Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays or special anniversaries ó are slow to arrive. But when they do arrive, it seems to come sooner than we expected.

The opening day of high school football season is like that for many fans.

Itís a day eagerly awaited by the players and coaches, too, because they have been practicing, mostly against their own teammates, for weeks. This weekend, those players will finally be able to take on a real opponent in a real game. Itís a game that may not yet count toward the district championship and qualifying for the state playoffs, but it does count against the won-loss record. Most importantly, though, it means the season is under way.

High school football is one of the most celebrated traditions in Texas. The commitment to excellence in its execution cannot be topped anywhere, and holds true whether the team represents a high school with only several dozen students enrolled or one with several thousand on campus. While itís true that the primary purpose of a school district is to educate young people and prepare them for a fulfilling and successful adult life ó however they choose to define that ó itís been shown that a successful athletic program helps foster an attitude that generates pride in accomplishment throughout a campus. But even during a rebuilding year for teams, the commitment and dedication to a task and the efforts made to reach mutual goals provide lessons in life that are beneficial to players and fans alike.

If Texas plays the best high school football in the nation, and few here debate that point, teams in the Brownwood area play some of the best football to be found in the state. On any given weekend, fans without a favorite team have their pick of several outstanding contests very close to home. And fans with a team they follow closely donít have to make a decision about which game to attend.

Kickoffs are only hours away, so put on the school colors, get your tickets and plan to arrive early. Football season is back, and so is the enthusiasm that goes with it.

Brownwood Bulletin