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The game is never out of season

By Staff
Charles Prince, Sports Editor
It happened on March 16 between games of a Hartselle baseball doubleheader at Cullman.
While standing in line at the concession stand, a man in the other line wearing a Tiger-red cap looked at me and started to speak.
I assumed he wanted to talk about the first game of the day. Instead he had only one question.
"Will Godsey have another good team this year?" he said, referring to Hartselle head football coach Bob Godsey.
Spring football practice was still nine days away and the regular season wouldn't begin for 23 more weeks. Yet, right in the middle of baseball season with the Tigers only five weeks away from entering the state playoffs in search of a seventh state title, he wanted to talk about the game on the gridiron.
Some people start thinking about the next football season the day after the last season ends.
It's not just men who love the game and think of it often. Even when it's not in season, women do, too.
Take, for example, my wife Susan. She's attended nearly every regular season high school football game I've covered in the past seven years.
She missed one last season, but it wasn't because she didn't want to go. She had a root canal procedure on a Thursday and didn't feel up to going to that Friday's game.
She enjoys the game so much, she looks forward to the season months before it begins. It will be June or July and Susan will ask me how many weeks before we start going to football games again.
Notice how many people attend practice to just watch the teams go over the basics this time of year. When spring drills began at Hartselle on April 25, I saw five cars of people parked just outside the fence next to practice field looking on.
When fall practice begins the numbers will grow and parallel the building anticipation for the season's kickoff.
I've seen crowds of more than 30 people attend fall practices at Hartselle High.
Here's what makes spring games, like the ones to be played this week, so much fun.
It gives fans a chance to see the game they love even if the regular season won't start for four months. The games don't count in the standing, but people are more than happy to attend these scrimmages. Be sure of one thing-hardcore football fans wouldn't miss one for anything short of a death in the family.
The contest with Huntsville may not have the tension of a region game with a possible playoff bid on the line, but who cares this time of year. The spring game gives all of us a chance to see football again without having to wait until August.
Football is never out of season-even in the spring.