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It's that season: Missing those Friday night lights

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News Detroit Lakes,Minnesota 56501
Detroit Lakes Online
It's that season: Missing those Friday night lights
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

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.