Summer Sacrifices: The Toil Behind the Glitz and Glamour of Friday Night Lights


Keeva Linton

Locked and loaded: Dubs football prepares for another highly anticipated campaign in the blistering heat of early August.

Picture this: You have just finished your final exams and can finally be free from the confines of school for an entire two and a half months. Then it hits you, summer practices are around the corner. Say goodbye to the luxuries of sleeping in until the sun beams through your bedroom window and say hello to early morning weight lifting sessions and whistles ringing throughout your ears beckoning you to begin your next set on the bench press. For many, this is not something they would want nor expect from their summer vacation, but for the North Atlanta football team, it’s just another day in the office. 

The Dubs followed up their spring game against the Holy Innocents Golden Bears with a much-needed two-week hiatus. Coming off four-and-a-half months of intensive weight and skills training the break was both a blessing and a lifesaver. This blissful break, however, was short-lived and the Dubs quickly found themselves back on the field grinding to be the best version of themselves. The long hours riddled with blood, sweat, and tears are not for the faint of heart, with neverending soreness, fatigue, and regret occupying real estate in the back of many players’ minds. “The grind was tough,” said sophomore Quarterback Ian Reynolds. “There were plenty of days where I didn’t want to show up, but I knew I couldn’t let the team down like that.”

Who could blame him? The monotonous, daily eight-to-twelve workouts did not exactly give the rush of the Friday Night Lights. Two hours of intense weight training followed by another two hours on the field with padded drills and 7-on-7 scrimmages sprinkled into the schedule is certainly no easy task. It may have been easy for players like Reynolds to take the easy road, sleeping in, traveling, and taking advantage of the lack of homework, yet every time regret plagued their minds they were quickly reminded of their deep-rooted love for the game. “The summer workouts were tough,” said sophomore lineman Wyatt Welch. “There was not a day I didn’t go home sore. It takes a lot to do what we do and the work is far from over, but it’s all worth it in the end.”

As North Atlanta is ready to embark on a new season, the Dubs are hard at work preparing themselves for the spotlight. As the football season gets closer every day, the Warriors continue to work, fighting for every yard. Formidable opponents lie ahead, so it begs the question, where will the Dubs strike first?