Taking a trip to any Southern high school, you will always be slammed with posters lining the halls, promoting the football team. Friday night lights are almost a religion among high schoolers, but success in football rarely follows players into a profession, so why is Friday night football so meaningful to these students?
The point of every one of these games is (obviously) to win and bring home the glory. With every passing game and intense hometown rivalry, the urge to push a little bit further than the other team increases exponentially. By the time playoffs start up, every student, teacher, and staff member is oozing school spirit.
“I think I can speak for everyone when I say that hearing the stands roaring with cheers pumps us up,” varsity football player Saul Quintanilla said. “On the other hand, the urge to win has always been present, but, like I said, it definitely helps when the school spirit is present and can be felt around the school throughout the week.”
Popularity is also unimaginably important to high schoolers, and what elevates your social status more than ramming into other armored men at 7 o’clock every Friday night? Any football player, despite their position, is admired and cherished by not just their school but the local community as well. Who couldn’t enjoy all that popularity and attention?
“Everybody wants to be the star of the hometown football team,”sophomore Tucker Dorsey said. “It pretty much makes you a celebrity.”
Finally, the reason anyone does any extracurricular activities in high school is to try and stand out as much as possible to high-ranking colleges. Next to fine arts, athletic scholarships are what all players strive for as the ultimate goal of their games.
“I would say 95% of the guys here at HHS would love to advance their football career to the college level and beyond,” junior varsity football team member Miguel Yanez said. “It’s a dream most of us in the locker room share.”
All in all, despite having little meaning after senior year, football is adored for its social elevation and the slight chances of making it in the big leagues.