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It's that season: Missing those Friday night lights

Summer 2011 is pretty much over now with the passing of Labor Day, and I've been through  this situation about a dozen times now (the beginning of school), but looking back I don't recall a school year coming up as suddenly as it did this year.

I was trying to figure out why this school year came up so abruptly and I realized its because in my past years, this time of year was football season.

Now I talk about playing hockey, and baseball (which is because I can actually play each of them decently), but I've never really talked about playing football. The reason behind that is because not only was I not a good football player, I was also extremely embarrassed about playing football.

It all started the summer I was going into sixth grade (it would've been the summer of 2006). I had been a Vikings fan since age 5, and I heard Detroit Lakes was finally getting an FM Football team (a tackle football team for grades five and six). The second I heard that, I wanted to play.

I found all the information out, and the problem didn't occur until I read the last paragraph on the information sheet, it read "kids 126 pounds-155 pounds must be a lineman, 155 pounds and up was too much to play."

Unfortunately for me I was an abnormally chubby child (I still am, but especially at that age), and at the time I read that paragraph I had three weeks until weigh-ins, and I was 168 pounds.

I was extremely dedicated to playing football, so I went on a crazy diet which included me eating only salads and sandwiches, and included a two-hour workout a day. I did what I needed to on the food, and with the help of a mile long run every night before bed, football practice, and a two hour workout at the community center every day, I went into weigh-ins semi-confident.

I remember shaking as I waited to stand on the scale, and I stepped on, and the scale light turned blue with a white 154.9 pounds in the middle. The guy told me to go through, and I went on to get my pads, and I remember coming out of the building dressed all in my pads, with my dad waiting for me right there with a big smile on his face.

I went on to play defensive tackle that season, and I topped it off with 13 sacks and 43 tackles (my buddy and I kept our stats), topped off with a final game against the Fargo team coached by our coach's brother in the Fargo Dome, which we lost 20-17. But it was also the game I got my first-ever interception.

Once I got into seventh grade, the program changed to being run by the school (which meant no weight requirements). I played inside linebacker and fullback through middle school, but eventually practices got the best of me.

Getting into high school I lost the dedication to play football, topped off by the realization that I just wasn't good enough, so I decided to quit.

Two years later I sit here realizing how much I miss football, and the time and dedication I used to put into it, and honestly I wish I had never given it up.

Jonah Bowe is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.