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It’s time to start talkin’ local football

By: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
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Next week we put July in the history books already. It may seem like its early, but yes, it is time to start talking about high school football in our community.

At the Folsom Telegraph, we have begun production on our 2017 special publication called “Friday Night Lights.” Last year was the first time we produced this publication and, if you read the Telegraph or if you attended just about any local game in Folsom or El Dorado Hills, chances are you saw this fabulous publication.

Friday Night Lights was something we began talking about creating at the Telegraph three years ago when I transferred here from our sister paper in Roseville. Although I never played football beyond the level of a video game, I have always had a love for high school football season and I am well aware of its importance to a community.

At first glance, one may not look at the Folsom community and realize it has such a love for its prep pigskins just driving through town. However, if you look up the stats of our area teams, you will clearly see what we have in our community with one former state champion team in our region and two others that have been in hot pursuit, with numerous section titles to their name.

In small towns, this is often more apparent to the first-time observer that may not necessarily follow the sport. In many mid-western towns, it’s not uncommon to see coffee shops’ walls covered in news clippings from the local sports pages, signs in business windows with slogans like “Go Team,” and even billboards with players on them, yard signs saluting them in front of their homes and more.

While Folsom may not be abundant in the scenes you may see in the movie “Remember the Titans” or the television series that shared the same title, “Friday Night Lights,” we are most certainly a prideful high school football loving town. On a typical Friday night, the cheers of the crowd and the sounds of the bands can be heard far from our local stadiums in Folsom and El Dorado Hills. It’s pleasant to here.

This year, we have a brand new stadium that will fill the air with the cheerful sounds of camaraderie, community spirit and passion. For years, Vista Del Lago High School has shared the same field with the Folsom Bulldogs at Prairie City Stadium. Now, the local school has its very own Friday night home, nestled in the hillside at the peak of Broadstone Parkway.

Last week, the Telegraph joined Folsom Bulldogs’ Coach Kris Richardson on the field with his fully suited up squad, already gearing up for the season ahead, despite triple-digit temperatures. The excitement of the season to come was already apparent. We spent the late afternoon taking photos of the team for our upcoming publication. In the coming weeks we will be doing the same with the Vista gridirons as well as Oak Ridge in El Dorado Hills.

Right alongside this community, supporting our local teams is this community newspaper. After 162 years, we bring you great community news each week better than we ever have, free in local racks or delivered to your home for less than $1 a week.

We cover high school football in our area like no other. When it comes to all our local sports, our Sports Editor, Matt Long, is one of the best in the business. He puts his passion to the pen and it shows. On many game nights, I have joined him on the sidelines behind a camera and it’s always a pleasure to see the great support the Telegraph gets from our teams, coaches and fans at those games.

After a tremendous response from the business community and the local schools last year, our upcoming Friday Night Lights publication will be even bigger and better than our first. Packed with previous articles and photos looking at the season ahead for all three teams, the publication talks about players, rosters, schedules and more.

Along with the great editorial coverage, there will be countless businesses showing their support within this publication. Many will be offering game day deals. Others will be simply wishing their local teams the best of luck in the season ahead.

Our staff is working hard to reach everyone in the community to be part of this publication that will be seen by our more than 24,000 weekly readers and distributed at the opening and early season home games at all three local high schools. Altogether, more than 68,000 readers will enjoy Friday Night Lights 2017 in the Telegraph.

 We take great pride in supporting our youth sports like this and we hope you will too, whether it’s reading Friday Night Lights or joining with the many advertisers that have already reserved their spots. For more information on Friday Night Lights, simply call our office at 916-985-2581 or drop me a note at my email below. Thank you Folsom and El Dorado Hills, from our readers to our advertisers, for helping us bring you Friday Night Lights once again.

Bill Sullivan is the general manager of the Folsom Telegraph he can be reached at bills@goldcountrymed.com.