All the spring sports are practically finished. Graduations are taking place. It is finally starting to feel like it will soon be hot enough to melt plastic lawn chairs.
It can only mean one thing — summer has arrived.
In most places, that means vacations to the beach, loafing around the pool, kids taking daily trips to the park and, most importantly, no school, but in Texas summer means something entirely different to a large segment of the population.
With the official end of the school year, it unofficially becomes football season.
No state takes the sport more seriously and, for any Texan who lives for Friday nights, it all starts now.
Like many did for Copperas Cove’s recent Blue-Gold Game, action-starved fans clamor to intrasquad scrimmages that culminate spring training to catch a glimpse of the product their favorite teams will be fielding in the fall.
Then, there are the countless 7-on-7 leagues and state qualifying tournaments across the state, giving players and fans a small, distorted taste of things to come.
Soon, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine — a must-own for any diehard — will hit the shelves.
It is all just part of the yearly buildup for the upcoming season.
As farfetched as it might sound, grown men and women in Texas become kids once again when the summer hits as they anxiously anticipate crossing each day off on the calendar, counting down to Christmas morning, which now occurs on a Friday night.
It won’t be long until routine two-a-day practices become as attractive to fans as they are painful to players.
In the meantime, stories about the sport will once again start permeating local newspapers, and television stations will soon start doing nightly previews of various teams.
Players eager to prove themselves are hard at work, attempting to improve in any miniscule way possible.
The summer is here, but it is not downtime in Texas. This is the beginning.
Almost anything a high school football fan or player does between now and late August is in anticipation of the season.
Personally, I’m already studying up on teams. I’m dissecting districts, breaking down scenarios and looking ahead to certain matchups. Granted, my job almost literally revolves around each football season, but I know plenty of people who do similar things for nothing other than love of the sport.
I’ve never lived anywhere other than Texas, so I don’t know for sure, but I have a hard time believing any other state is as passionate about the sport.
It is just a way of life for most Texans, and now that the summer has arrived, life is good.
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org