High school football opened the season a few days ago across the country and, once again, lit the American landscape with a spattering of lights on a Friday night.
The Huskies of Naperville North in Illinois opened the season with a home Senior Night and defeated the Vikings of Homewood-Flossmoor, 40-21, Grace Ainger and Will Richards report in the home team’s student newspaper.
Senior quarterback Aidan Gray was quoted as saying a win on senior night was surreal: “I mean, being able to walk on my senior night—it’s a great experience. To walk away with a win tonight was super cool,” he said.
For many seniors, the “last first game” brings mixed emotions. “I’m feeling excited for the season to start but also sad because it will be my last first game,” Jeremiah Woods at Durant High School in Plant City, Florida, quoted one senior football player as saying in that school’s student newspaper.
“It’s special because I remember my very first game as a high schooler,” another senior was quoted as saying. “It’s just crazy that we’re already seniors and this is the last first home game.”
But it’s not just players who experience this nostalgia. For many high school students who don’t play football, memories are made at football games—getting decked out in spirit gear on Friday nights, sharing a unique “theme” for each home game, and enjoying time with friends in the stands who share a goal of cheering on a team and encouraging a good game.