Football time is approaching

Published 12:43 am Sunday, July 19, 2009

I’m sure those of you who are football fans already know this, but there are only 33 days left until high school football season begins here in the Miss-Lou.

All of the MPSA schools begin playing on Aug. 21, while some of the MHSAA schools do as well.

Most of the MHSAA schools will get started on Aug. 28 while the LHSAA schools begin a week later, on Sept. 4.

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Those 33 days are sure to be days of anticipation and excitement as football season draws closer.

It certainly is here at sports department The Natchez Democrat. It is also one of our busiest times of the year.

For the next 33 days, me and some others will be scrounging up football schedules and rosters, trying to pin down team picture days and talking to coaches about the upcoming season.

And it’s all so we can give you the very best football preview magazine possible.

Football preview sections are always a big part of just about every newspaper.

I have always loved to read them, along with all the information about the local high school and college teams.

Even if I don’t know any of the teams, I usually grab one from just about any paper I come across to see how it is laid out, and what articles and pictures are used in the section.

Last year we decided to step up the effort a little bit and produce a high quality glossy magazine instead of the pullout section on regular newsprint.

It wasn’t easy, as deadlines had to be pushed back a week because of the longer time it took to print, but it was very much worth it.

The finished product turned out great, and from the number of good comments we received, the magazine was well-liked in the Miss-Lou.

We also got a great honor at the Mississippi Press Association convention when it was named the best special section in the state among papers The Democrat’s size.

So we’re doing the same thing again this year.

Me, Ben Hillyer, and many others in the newsroom will be working hard to put out a quality football preview magazine once again this year.

The Miss-Lou is full of great football teams. Centreville has won two consecutive MPSA Class AA state championships. Natchez High is coming off its best season in over a decade. And Trinity will be one of the favorites to win the state championship in MPSA Class A this season.

With all the gridiron success the Miss-Lou has experienced, its only appropriate that The Democrat publish a football preview section that lives up to that same expectation.

Not only is it what our readers deserve, it’s also quite enjoyable to work on.

Football season is the greatest three months of the year, and it’s so much fun to get to know the teams, players and coaches all over again.

Sure there are some days where the stress gets to you. But the pride I take in seeing the finished product washes away all the stress.

So if you don’t see me in the next 33 days, it’s probably because I’m holed up at my desk on the phone or at one of the area schools trying to talk to a coach.

Either way, I’ll be working hard to make the 2009 football preview the best one yet.

So let the countdown begin.

Jeff Edwards is the sports editor for The Democrat. He can be reached at