High School football. A thing many people stop caring about once they graduate or when their kid's graduate. In Alabama, it's way more than that. Yes, I know that Alabama has one of the best college football teams in the country. So why would anyone pay attention to a lot of teenage boys running around on a Friday night?
Anywhere else, high school football would be considered as a fun activity. Here, it's just as important as the college level. People invest a lot of time in high school football because they know the talents of these young players will eventually pan out to be the next stars of their favorite college teams. For example, Hewitt-Trussville High School has four players committed to the University of Alabama. Alabama fans (as well as Hewitt fans) watch the boys closely as they know that they are the future of the college's football program.
Just because players aren't committed to Alabama doesn't mean that's all they have. Many Alabama high school stars (and yes, I use the word starts very tightly) are committed to various division one schools or even division two and work their way up to division one. Some players even have the opportunity to play in the NFL. Marlon Humphrey, a cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens, attended Hoover High School and played his way through Alabama. Hoover is also considered to be a predominant football high school in the south, considering their abundance of state championships.
Go out to an Alabama high school game on a Friday night, and you'd think you were at a college football game. People are tailgating everywhere, traffic is hectic, and people are just everywhere. Be prepared to get there hours in advance to avoid any inconveniences. Besides students and fans were there, there are always reporters, new stations, and recruiters trying to get a first-row seat to see the game up close and personal. High school football in the south is not just a hobby, it's a lifestyle.
If you ever are coming down for an Alabama game, try going to a high school game the day before to see what the hype's all about. Any fan of football can agree. The same energy and excitement at any college game are definitely mirrored every Friday night at each high school stadium.