Charles Prince

The North Jefferson News

On April 4, Alabama High School Athletic Association executive director Steve Savarese announced that the AHSSA had entered into a partnership with Alabama Sports Foundation to market prep sports in the state.

One of the possibilities include televising a high school football game of the week, each Thursday night during the season. Then televising at least one playoff game each week of the postseason until the Super Six begins.

Local high school football coaches in the North Jefferson area favor a weekly televised game package as announced by the AHSAA, but some don’t like the idea of football on Thursday nights.

“I think it’s great,” Fultondale head coach Keith Register said. “Anything that promotes the game, I’m for. Getting more publicity for the schools can make for more interest.”

“Anything that puts the game of high school football before the public is good,” Mortimer Jordan head coach Greg Watts said. “Some people will probably tune in, who wouldn’t attend a game in person.”

“It’ll be great for high school football,” Hayden head coach Shane Howard said. “If more people see the games, the better off the schools will be. It’ll definitely be a positive thing.”

“It’s good for the sport, but if they’re going to broadcast on Thursday nights it’s not for us,” Gardendale head coach Chris Fancher said. “Friday nights are for high school football and Saturday nights are for college football. I don’t like high school football on Thursday night. The atmosphere is not the same. The crowds are smaller on Thursday, because people have to work the next day and the excitement just isn’t the same as a Friday night game.”

The coaches said they thought some schools would appear on the games time and again, while some schools will never be given a chance.

“Teams like Leroy, Fyffe and Sweetwater, get their games televised when they get to the Super Six,” Register said. “but I don’t think they’ll get to have a regular season game shown.”

“I don’t think they’ll show a game from the Dothan area, because they’ll worry no one in Huntsville would care to watch,” Fancher said. “It’s probably going to have to be limited on which schools get to appear, because they’ll have to sell advertising. Two 1A schools in a rural part of the state will probably get left out, because the advertisers will want to see the bigger schools on.”

“I think they’ll try to pass it around to as many schools as possible,” Watts said. “We don’t need to have the Over the Mountain schools on there every week. I’d be glad to be part of it, if they asked us.”

Fancher said he also doesn’t like his teams to play Thursday night games for another reason.

“The preparation time for a Thursday night game is different and I don’t like them,” Fancher said. “I don’t think Thursday games are good because, the players and the coaches don’t have as much time to get ready for their opponent.”

Register said Thursday is the best day to televise games.

“If they televise Friday night games, it could hurt the gate at a lot of schools,” Register said.

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