It’s that time of year again — Friday nights mean groups of cheering fans, brightly lit fields and booming band music. Friday night lights is a Texas tradition that stirs up fond high school memories for many of us. Perhaps that’s why there are generations of fans at opening night who haven’t missed a game in years.

I had the privilege to attend both the Denison and Sherman pregame celebrations Friday before each team’s first game of the season. I spoke to students, parents and grandparents all dressed in spirit clothing and enjoying the festivities. What struck me most about it all was that some of them didn’t have a student currently at the high school.

A true gathering of community, the events brought together old school friends and teammates. The enthusiasm and joy of the attendees was contagious and I found myself thinking back on my high school sports memories.

I attended a small school in the Metroplex and we didn’t have a football team until my senior year. But we made the most of the sports we did have. Every Friday, we could be found at a basketball, soccer or volleyball game.

I played soccer and volleyball for the school and the feeling of support from fans was always one that I looked forward to. Because we knew how wonderful it felt to play in front of bleachers packed with fans, we made a point to do the same for our other teams in return.

This created a sense of spirit and pride for us as students for our school. I know this is true for Sherman and Denison students as well. So, I encourage everyone to continue being supportive and enthusiastic fans because it does make a difference for the students.

Happy birthday Sunday to Jackie Cole of Denison; and Nellie Phillips of Van Alstyne.

Happy birthday Monday to Shona Taylor Sr. of Denison; and L. D. Morgan of Sherman.

Happy anniversary Monday to Alton and Foncell Powell of Arlington, 71 years.