Friday Night Lights: The Camden Wildcats

in Intracoastal Waterway / Overland Travel / USA
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Black Friday found us running errands, rather than Christmas shopping, so we hired a local taxi to help us do things like get to the laundromat, get our hair cut and stock up at the liquor store. And during our trips around town, we got friendly enough with the driver, John, that we found ourselves later that night going with him to watch a local high school football game.

Ryan, who has converted from British rugby to American football with the zealousness of a born-again Christian, was positively giddy when John told him there was a “Friday Night Lights” playoffs game that night.

Now, when I say “high school football,” I don’t mean the brand of backyard football played at schools in my native upstate New York. In St. Marys, the local Camden Wildcats are as highly revered in Camden County as the NY Giants are in Manhattan. And the Wildcats’ stadium is only slightly smaller and less expensive (a slight exaggeration), attracting thousands of spectators and demanding $12 per ticket (not an exaggeration).

Ryan was like a kid at his first NFL game, asking John questions about the size of the team, the football culture and who the big players were. Even I thought the game was well worth $12, considering we got to nosh on some stellar southern BBQ, watch the fans pump their fists and scream at the field and, in the end, witness the Wildcats‘ win over East Coweta (an Atlanta, GA team) 34-14, putting them well on their way to becoming state champions.

If anything, it was a unique experience to see a game in action under the real-life “Friday Night Lights.”

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Camden Wildcats vs. East Coweta

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John and Ryan, engrossed in the game

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