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Friday night lights return to the Valley

The 2017 Pigskin Preview, included in today’s newspaper, marks the return of the high school football season.

Friday’s games mark the return of the pageantry and traditions that make late summer and fall weekends in our area special. To help you get ready for the season, we have published our annual football edition, Pigskin Preview. The section offers an in-depth look at each of our area’s teams. It’s a must-read for every fan.

High school athletics can help to bring our communities together and are good educational tools. They teach discipline, the importance of setting goals and working toward them, as well as the sacrifices that will be expected along the way, and the importance of accountability. Athletes are taught to have pride in themselves, their schools and their communities and to respect others.

And, while a great deal of attention is directed toward football, remember that other student-athletes are competing in other fall sports and activities, including golf, soccer, volleyball, cross country, marching band and cheerleading. Those participants also are deserving of your support.

That said, we hope fans will keep their enthusiasm in check and remember that the athletes and other participants are 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds, and not highly paid professionals.

To the area’s athletes, we say good luck, and we hope that everyone has a safe and successful season. To the fans, we say cheer on your favorite teams, but remember that encouraging sportsmanship and fostering an atmosphere of respect for all are among your greatest responsibilities.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the stadiums and fields this season.

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