I am the last person anyone should come to about football. My knowledge of the sports is limited to what I’ve collected watching “Remember the Titans” and “The Replacements,” and, while I enjoy the games, I’m frequently lost as to what is actually happening.
That being said, I know discipline and manners when I see them, and Newton County High School’s football players have it in spades.
Last Thursday, my task was to take individual photos of every football player and coach at Newton County High School. I showed up, got my camera ready, checked in with Coach Bass and got to work.
Now, in my experience, football players, decked out in full uniform and pads, tend to be a bit rowdy. They like to push and shove each other, throw a ball around, etc. Getting several dozen athletes to quietly line up and wait for me to take the photo was a daunting task, especially since most of them were at least a foot taller than me.
The photos went off without a hitch. There was no rowdiness, no calling players multiple times, no trouble at all. Coach Bass told the players to listen to me, and they did.
I said, “line up.”
They lined up.
I said, “stand here.”
They stood there.
I said, “smile.”
They gave it an honest effort.
I’ve taken a lot of peoples’ pictures working for newspapers, and I can honestly say, those football players were better behaved than church deacons, civic clubs, teachers and even my own family.
I’d like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to Newton County School District, the players’ parents, grandparents, Sunday School teachers and whoever else had a hand in the football players’ upbringing.
I’d also like to say thank you to the football players themselves. I remember being in school and walking that line between good behavior and fitting in. There can be a lot of pressure to push back against a stranger telling you what to do, yet I saw none of that Thursday.
Have a great football season and a good school year. If manners are any clue to success, the sky is the limit for you all.
Thomas is the managing editor of the Newton County Appeal. He can be reached at email@example.com