Fayetteville Football Senior Night Game was last night at Fayetteville High School. The Pirates hosted the Summers County Bobcats. It will be my last night shooting high school football for 2017. Rain was in the forecast. It was unusually warm. I dressed for cooler weather and was surprised at how warm it was well after the sun had set and rain was approaching.
I spent my Friday daylight hours kayaking the river, collecting photographs of the colorful leaves in the New River Gorge. Add on a football Friday Night and you’ve got a great photography day.
If Fayetteville doesn’t make the playoffs this year, it will likely be the last time these seniors ever suit up for a football game. I still remember being in the locker room my senior year and listening to our coach tell us that we need to recognize the importance of that moment.
You don’t think about that kind of thing until you’re older. Those memories get more and more valuable because they become further away. The stresses in life at that time, the things I was worried about, I don’t even remember. If I was upset with somebody, I don’t know now, but I do know that I’ll never get to be in that moment ever again and the truth is, we don’t really know how special an occasion is at that time.
It is entirely possible that I may never photograph a high school football game ever again. Hopefully not, but we never really know what the future holds. That might be one of the reasons why I’m a photographer. A picture lets us capture a moment in time that we will never see again. The styles of the clothes, the hair, the weather on that day, they all play a part in our memories and have a strong effect on our nostalgia.
Fayetteville’s head coach, Coach Moneypenny, approached me during the game. He says “You take 9000 pictures at every one of our games and I haven’t seen a single one.”
I laughed and said “Yeah, I wish I could take more.” I didn’t have the heart to sound patronizing to the head coach by saying “The best ones are in the newspaper and the rest of them are on the Register-Herald website.” Not cool.
Coach asks “You still live on the corner of Maple and Sarah?”
“How do you know where I live?” I didn’t even think he knew me at all.
“I’ve been tracking you for years.”
“Uh oh.” I semi-joked. Not sure what that means.
This town is even smaller than I thought.