Friday Night Lights: There’s no place like the Black Hole

cffoot-15dive(Editor’s Note: Matt Beale plays quarterback for the Carolina Forest High football team. He shares his experiences in the first of a series of essays about high school football.)

There’s nothing better than a high school football Friday.

Every Friday night is a great time – the anticipation of the game, those pre-game butterflies, seeing the large crowds and students you know fill up the stadium. It gives me chills.

This Friday night, I go into my first home game of the season. We’ve got a lot going for us as a team right now and we can’t wait to bring that to The Forest.

What really stands out to me about this season is the amount of support we have seen as a team, even on the road. The Carolina Forest students and parents have been spectacular so far this season. They never disappoint. The bleachers have been filled up every single game, even in Wilmington and Fairmont (NC), both over an hour away by car, and even longer by bus.

When we are taking the field so far away from home, it is exciting to see that people care enough about us to drive for hours just to watch us play. After four games on the road to open the season, it’s very exciting to finally play a home game. We only have four home games this season so we need to make every one memorable.

It’s such a relief being at home tonight, No worries about traveling; we won’t feel as rushed, and of course, it will be nice to finally have the home-field advantage. We’ll get to wear our all black home uniforms again after three weeks in white. The school is excited for this game, but seeing our team get a win is what will really make them proud.

Our student section, The Black Hole (led by senior Zion Bright and junior Kyle Ewing) will be larger than it has been this season in its first appearance at our home stadium. Not only is it our first home game, but it is Military Appreciation Night, and camouflage night for the Black Hole. I am honored to be a part of a school community that takes the time to honor our local veterans.

We’ve also added some pretty cool new items to our stadium, such as banners and posters around the field that should really add to the atmosphere of excitement that I look forward to every Friday night. It’ll be nice to have both the band and the student section cheering us on at home along with so many fans.

It’s been almost a year since I last played at The Forest, so suiting up and hitting the field here will feel like the first time in forever. I’ve liked playing away games, but I sure am going to love being back at home.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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