There is nothing like going to a high school sporting event. It really does not matter which sport you pick, just as long as you go and cheer on the teams.

I have been to all levels of sporting events. I have covered a few Houston Texans games and sat in the press box and also have sat on field level for the Houston Astros and shot photographs.

There are countless times I have went to Austin and watched the Longhorns. I have been to the Big 12 Championship and once met Vince Young.

Yet nothing compares to the athletes and coaches who will actually read this column. I am all about high school sports.

It is a strange thing to think about in a way. I have said before and I stand behind it that I would pass up the opportunity to work for a huge newspaper and cover a pro team to stay home and cover high school sports.

The reasons are sometimes hard to come up with but it all starts with the atmosphere. I love being around the fans and parents in the stands. It cannot be beat.

I remember the first time my wife Heather attended a 3A football game with me. She is a graduate of Nederland High School and had never been to a “small school” game in her life.

All it took was five minutes and she knew what I knew, there is a lot to love about high school sports.

She did not believe me when time and time again I had to tell her the person I stopped to talk to did not have a kid on the field, in the band or in the drill team. That person was there only to support the team.

Now there have been times when Heather was the one pulling me off the couch to make sure we did not miss the football or baseball game.

It was not because I did not want to go, I was probably just really tired from doing 20 other duties which had nothing to do with sports.

Once at the game though, I immediately was pulled in and felt at home.

Are you ready for August 30? That is when all these teams put the pads on and face a team in real action. I can hear the helmets hitting in my head now actually. I can hear the bands and can smell the popcorn.

If you do not try the popcorn at each stadium I promise you that you are missing out. I could write a full column on concession stands and I just might have to one day. I have sampled them all and could be quite the food critic.

I hope you enjoy reading this week’s preview on the Orangefield Bobcats. Coach Josh Smalley is one of the best men I have had the pleasure to meet in my career and I wish him nothing but the best at OHS. I have no doubt there are good things to come for the Bobcats not just this year but in the upcoming seasons. OHS hired a good one in Josh.

Next week the plan is to check on the Battlin’ Bears of Little Cypress-Mauriceville so stay tuned for that one.

Until then be safe and I certainly appreciate you taking the time to read what I had on my mind. I feel blessed to have the opportunity and will continue to strive for perfection.

Gabriel Pruett can be reached at