High school football brings communities together

Published 11:20 am Friday, October 6, 2023

Elizabethton High has been playing football since August, but Friday night was the first home game for the Cyclones…and it was homecoming night. As you can imagine the stadium was filled, and it was a fun-filled night.
It’s a week into October, but fall really begins when toe meets leather to kick off the football season in Carter County and Elizabethton. The seasonal change has nothing to do with the calendar.
Rather, it’s a measure of the cultural richness that annually burgeons in Elizabethton – and in Tennessee – this time of year. Friday nights are reserved for high school football, and Saturday for U-T football.
We’re excited that not only has Elizabethton seen success this year on the football field, but so have our Carter County teams, especially Hampton.
Football is not only great for players and the school, but it is good for fans. It’s a big deal for small communities like Elizabethton. High school football plays a big role in bringing everyone together and helping the economy. Without the option of nearby big-city activities, and the large populations that make it impossible to know everybody, small town communities such as Elizabethton are inherently more tightly knit.
People who grew up here tend to stay here, and that in itself builds a long alumni base. For a lot of the adults who live locally and attend high school games, their fondest memories are days and times they had at their local high school, whether it be Elizabethton, Hampton, Happy Valley, Unaka, or Cloudland. There’s a lot of community pride at each school.
They meet on the same platform and accept each other because everyone is having a good time together. They’re in the bleachers on Friday night, giving high fives and cheering for local teams.
The majority of things you have to buy for athletics comes from gate receipts. More fans go to football games than baseball, softball, etc. So, much of the money is made off of football. If the team isn’t winning, it hurts the athletic program as a whole. The events generate revenue for the school and help fund programs, equipment, and facilities.
Thus, high school football games are about more than just sports. Whether you pull for the Cyclones, Bulldogs, Warriors, Rangers, or Highlanders, it’s all about community, spirit and pride.
We believe important life lessons are being taught to those high school players and just as important, our communities come together.
So, enjoy the games, but more than that, enjoy the pride you feel for your local team.

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