Football’s back … enjoy the games | News, Sports, Jobs

Today is the day that fans of high school football across the Tri-State Area have been waiting for since December.

It’s opening day, and action will get under way when Buckeye Local hosts Barnesville.

On Friday Steubenville Big Red will travel to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney; Indian Creek will host Cambridge; Catholic Central will visit Harrison Central; and Toronto will host Edison.

The area’s West Virginia teams will open their seasons next week.

The games mark the return of the pageantry and traditions that make late summer and fall weekends in our area special. And while the uncertainties that have surrounded all of our lives as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic left the entire season in limbo for many weeks, teams are ready to get back into action.

High school athletics can help to bring our communities together and are good educational tools. They teach discipline, the importance of setting goals and working toward them, as well as the sacrifices that will be expected along the way, and the importance of accountability. Athletes are taught to have pride in themselves, their schools and their communities, and to respect others.

And, while a great deal of attention is directed toward football, remember that other student-athletes are competing in other fall sports and activities, including golf, soccer, volleyball, cross country, marching band and cheerleading. Those participants also are deserving of your support.

That said, we hope fans will keep their enthusiasm in check and remember that the athletes and other participants are 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds, and not highly paid professionals.

To the area’s athletes, we say good luck, and we hope that everyone has a safe and successful season. To the fans, we say cheer on your favorite teams, but remember that encouraging sportsmanship and fostering an atmosphere of respect for all are among your greatest responsibilities.

We’re looking forward to an exciting season.

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