Pretty surreal, huh?
That’s the scene playing over and over in the heads of the kids on the Truro Minor Football Association’s peewee and bantam squads as they gear up for the return of Friday Night Lights.
Amongst all the chatter at practice Wednesday night, parents and coaches spoke of favourite memories from the Friday night games over the years.
“Truro was the ones who started Friday night games in Nova Scotia,” said bantam head coach Jake Borden, noting it likely started since the Saturday games often clashed with high school games. “Every team in the league loves coming here because we have fireworks on Friday nights.”
The players were also buzzing.
“It’s Friday Night Lights. It’s ours,” said bantam player Riley Gabriel. “The whole fan base make Friday night games crazy.”
With a big showing from Truro fans and a raucous crowd from out of town, things get pretty intense, Gabriel said.
“It’s hard to hear on the field, honestly. It’s so loud,” he said. “It’s a crazy crowd, lined up from end zone to end zone.”
“It makes a lot of a difference,” said Jordan Waller, a rookie bantam. “It just gives us so much more energy.”
The Bantam Freightliners and the Pee Wee Bombers will be taking on their counterparts from Timberlea, with kickoffs scheduled for 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively.
Bombers head coach Brian Wood was busy getting his squad ready on Wednesday evening as he anxiously awaited the game himself.
“We’re very excited,” he said. “The first Friday Night Lights game in Truro is always very fun.”
Something about the environment just brings out the little kid in every adult, and the wannabe pro in every kid.
“There’s very few places in the province that even have lights,” Wood said. “So it brings that very special aura of Friday night, the music, the crowd under the lights. It’s exciting.”
Once the ball is kicked off, Riley Gabriel is hoping the excitement translates into success.
“Just being on the field and seeing everyone along the sidelines watching you, it makes you a little nervous,” Gabriel said. “But you want to play better.”