Football season has finally come to a close

Published 4:17 pm Monday, November 18, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

Well, it’s all over.

As of 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 15, football season has officially ended in Shelby County.

The three teams left, Calera, Kingwood and Briarwood all fell on the road, far from the cheers of their home stadiums.

It’s a sad way to end a season, but then again, there’s really no good way to end a season other than hoisting a trophy.

The kids that walked off the field on Friday have been playing in some form, jamboree or regular season, since Aug. 24. Twelve weeks of games, plus all the hours put in over the course of the summer.

That’s a long time to be around a group of people. It’s also a long time to be pursuing a goal. When it’s over, and the mission isn’t accomplished, it’s tough.

I saw it first hand in the eyes of the Briarwood kids that walked off the absolutely drenched field in Jackson. Several of them had a look of feeling lost. Some of them just had tears.

One of the most telling signs of the impact of coming up short in the playoffs came as I was walking out of the stadium. I looked back at the field over my shoulder, and saw a Briarwood player, crouching in the end zone with his helmet still on, holding his head in his hands. He didn’t move and didn’t have anyone around him. He was just trying to soak in the last few moments of a long, hard-fought season and possibly a career.

It’s tough for us too. We’ve spent 12 weeks following these teams, travelling all over the state to try and make sure everyone gets the coverage they should. In the process you grow attached to the game and the teams. I honestly do not know what I’m going to do not having anything to cover Friday night.

I can’t thank all the coaches, players freelancers and fans for their help in covering Shelby County football.

It’s been a great ride, and a fun season. I can’t wait for next year.