Football in the spring was never going to happen, and that's a good thing
If this year has taught me anything at all, it is that nothing is truly ever written in stone -- no decision, regardless of who made it, can be reversed if there is enough public outcry.
This is especially true when it comes to the state of Michigan and the status of its high-school football season, which, until recently, was re-scheduled to take place in the spring.
On Aug. 14, the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) officially made the announcement that the upcoming football season would not happen as originally scheduled.
Less than one month after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 160 to postpone the football season, we have Executive Order 176, nullifying her initial ruling.
With that being said, the 2020 football season will consist of six games, starting on what would have been originally-scheduled week-four games for schools.
All will qualify for the postseason, with 8-player finals taking place Nov. 27-28 and 11-players finals slated for Dec. 4-5.
Football is happening, and it's happening during the fall; quite frankly, as a sports reporter, this is music to my ears.
Even though the season was most likely always going to happen, regardless of the season, the thought of covering spring football just didn't have the same excitement surrounding it.
I know beggars can't be choosers, but let's just say I am very thankful our governor changed her mind -- football (particularly high school and even more so in the Midwest) should always be played on Friday nights during the fall.
Just like virtually all players, coaches and parents within Big Rapids and the surrounding areas, I spent most of my August with cautious optimism, attending and making photo galleries of various practices.
The excitement was real, but it always felt like everyone was taking every drill, catch and water break during each practice with a fat grain of salt.
While it was great to see the boys get their helmets on to usher in some sense of normalcy, something just felt off, like an elephant in the room, only instead of ignoring it, it became the daily topic of conversation.
Answers were given for other fall sports and the status of their respective seasons, but as time went on, football remained a substantial question mark in our minds.
Then the news broke, right as I arrived at Evart High School to capture more photos for another football practice gallery.
I saw the confused disappointment on the faces of the players and coaches as they made their way to the parking lot or back inside of the school, right as they were set to begin practice.
But now, hopefully, all of the confusion, anger and disappointment with regard to football across Michigan will be a thing of the past.
It still won't be like anything we've had on the gridiron ever before, but the kids now have their season back, and to me that is the greatest victory of all.
I'll see you on the sidelines very soon.
Also, I need to pay the Evart football team a visit so I can finally capture all that a Wildcat football practice entails -- I owe you guys one.
Joe Judd is a sports reporter for the Lake County Star. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.