As a sports fan, I have had the opportunity to attend many sporting events of all levels during my lifetime. Whether it be shelling out a hundred dollars to see my favorite professional sports team play or spending a pleasant fall afternoon watching a lower level college football game, I have been there. You would think that a sports enthusiast like myself would be chomping at the bit to see as many professional sporting events as possible, but that is not the case with me. I find that watching high school sports can be, in many cases, just as entertaining or more entertaining than paying a huge amount to see a bunch of overpriced millionaires play a game. Some of my all-time favorite memories of attending sporting events involves going to high school games. Nothing beats the excitement of a huge battle between rival teams in a packed gymnasium with a chance to go to the state tournament. Or watching a high-profile high school football game on a Friday night. Very few games at college and professional levels can match what high school sports can produce. The atmosphere at the games with the student sections, bands and cheerleaders makes those games so special.
Of course, the talent level is a small fraction of what is offered at the pro level. I will not debate that. But the talent level in high school, especially at some of the bigger schools, is well worth watching. I find it just as interesting watching some highly recruited player step onto the court or playing field as watching some prima donna superstar in pro sports. The passion that high school kids bring to their sports is another thing that is very appealing to me. For many, it will be their last shot at playing competitive sports and they want to end their careers with that trip to the state tournament.
Having grown up and played sports in a small town, there is nothing that brings a community together more than a trip to the state tournament. A town literally stops when the hometown is playing in the state tournament. If the team does well at state and wins the tournament, look out!! Very few events bring more civic pride to a community than the success of their local high school team. As a young boy, I have many fond memories of watching my high school advance to the state hockey tournament here in Minnesota. The memories of watching those qualify games to go to the state tournament are some of my greatest memories ever as a sports fan.
High school sports are what sports should be all about. It is about as pure as sports can be. No multi-million dollar contracts, school cheating scandals, recruiting violations and other nonsense that college and pro sports often have. You will not have to take out a second mortgage to watch a game either. Most high school games here in Minnesota are under 10 dollars. I have attended many professional games for about 10 times that amount and left feeling like I wanted my money back. Attending a sporting event should be a memorable experience for any sports fan. It is amazing how a bunch of 17-18 year olds can create so many lasting memories. I challenge any sports fan to attend or watch a high school game, especially a tournament game. It might be the best use of money and time that you have ever spent watching sports. You don’t always have to watch LeBron and Brady to find sports entertainment. Sometimes that pimply high school kid living a few blocks away will fill the void.