Match up brings flood of memories

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2012

Boxwood hedges bring to mind a lot of my childhood memories.

Planted outside Papa’s house in Fayette, the distinctive shrub stands out to me as a unique fixture from my adolescence. It has a smell that is both different and recognizable wherever I am.

It’s been years since I’ve been to Fayette, and when I realized that Straughn was going to play Fayette County in the Class 3A semifinals this week, I got really excited about the opportunity to cover a high school football game of this magnitude.

My parents grew up in Fayette and graduated from Fayette County High School. My mom’s father, Chandler Stewart White Jr. died some years back.

Doug (FCHS Class of 1969), my father, started for the FCHS football team his last three years; ran track and played baseball and basketball his senior year. My mom, Emily (FCHS Class of 1971), was a majorette from ’67-’71.

It’s not often for me that work and family ties merge, so I think it’s pretty neat that Straughn will play my parents’ high school alma mater for a chance to play in the Super 6 championship.

Who would’ve thought that five-and-a-half years after working in Andalusia that I would have the chance to cover FCHS playing one of our local teams? Not me, for sure.

In years past, I only covered two football games where Andalusia competed against Fairhope, my alma mater.

This is also the first time in school history that Straughn has made it this far in the playoffs.

What’s more exiting than that for a sports editor?

FCHS has a quarterback-wide receiver dual threat that while it may pose a problem for the local Tigers, it’s still going to be exciting to see.

Straughn has been through adversity this season, especially in the playoffs.

Defensively, SHS has held its opponents to an average of nine points per game compared to Fayette County’s 12 points in the post season. Offensively, SHS has scored an average of 24.3 points per game and FCHS has scored an average of 19.3 points per game.

While the averages favor SHS this week, it’s still going to be a good game.

And I love a good football game.

Only one of the two teams has made it this far during the post season.

Back in 2000, FCHS lost 28-9 to T.R. Miller in the Class 4A Super 6 Finals.

Straughn is playing for its first championship berth, and FCHS is fighting for another shot at a title.

But when I think back on this game tomorrow night in the future, it will also be a reunion of a different sort.