Can you believe some governors are banning Thanksgiving gatherings inside private homes? No, we’re serious. Governors in at least two states have deemed that the most American of all holidays is canceled. A turkey leg to all of them!

It does seem more difficult to find things to be positive about these days. But we here in the Free State do — high school football, and that certainly is something to be excited about.

With fingers crossed, we are looking at three more weeks to crown state champions. One of those very likely could come out of the Free State.

West Jones and Laurel are set to tangle Friday night Between the Bricks with a trip to the Class 5A semifinals on the line. Whoever wins this game likely will be the favorite next week. If you cannot make it to the game, the Leader-Call will be providing comprehensive, on-field updates from sports editor Brad Crowe on our Facebook page. The  game will be broadcast on SuperTalk 99.3 FM.

Throw in the fact that Taylorsville and Stringer are still in the hunt, there is good reason for genuine excitement about our high school football teams.

We need something to smile about, and football makes us smile. Having three teams reach Jackson for state championships would really light up those faces. Fingers crossed.

Football contest not immune to COVID-19

A longtime tradition at the Leader-Call has been the football contest, which appears each Thursday throughout the season. The contest is fun for advertisers and readers alike, and the participation is always positive.

But, like most every aspect of life in the years of COVID-19, the football contest has been a challenge because we don’t know which schools will cancel games until, sadly, it is usually too late.

For example, on today’s Page B3, you will find the pick ’em schedule for games that are supposed to be played the weekend after Thanksgiving. That gives readers and advertisers time to return their picks. In a normal year, putting Alabama-Auburn on a pick ’em list 10 days out is no problem. But this year, who knows what will happen in those 10 days? It is a guessing game at best.

That is why you see some weeks with nine games or even eight being played. With the games that are not played, we don’t count that either way.

We  congratulate Bubba Bounds. He won the Nov. 5 contest, but was misidentified in last Thursday’s edition. He is a longtime player. We made sure he will receive his prize.

Like most of you, we are ready for 2020 to be over. We can only hope that the COVID-19 vaccines will be as effective as predicted and life can get back to some sort of normalcy — and that includes the football contest.

We appreciate the throngs of readers who take the time to fill out their picks each week and we also thank them for their understanding in this most unprecedented football season.

We also graciously thank each of the advertisers seen on the pick ’em page because, without them, there would be no contest. We also thank them for their patience and understanding.

The contest is on Page B3 in today’s edition. Winner will receive a $25 gift card to McAllister’s in Laurel.

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