There is something about Fall that just does it for me.  It brings a certain warmth to the soul.  All the colors, cooler weather after the brutal heat of summer, preparation for the approaching holidays and so much more.  While I’m a baseball fan at heart, there is a certain love I have for football.  Although I never played football, I still love the theatrics of the game.  The dedication and work players put in to preparing their bodies for the gridiron.  Not that other sports don’t work just as hard but there is a certain physicality aspect with football due to the contact nature of the sport.  Football just screams fall and those Friday Night Lights bring a certain excitement to the air of any small town. 

Friday was the home opener for the Yellow Jackets as their first two games were on the road.  Winning two road games in as many weeks the atmosphere at Community Stadium was electric to speak modestly.  Woodford (2-0) faced Paul Laurence Dunbar (1-1) out of Lexington with senior night festivities before the game.  The local Firefighters brought out their ladder truck and from it hung a huge American Flag.  Old Glory waved to a light wind between the goal posts against a fall sunset sky.  It really was a sight to see as the band played the National Anthem. 

The stadium was slowly filling as game time approached and by kick off, the place was hopping.  The student section was cheering loudly in their Hawaiian attire, the chosen nightly theme. 

I had a few clients to cover for the game so I was busy tracking them all night.  Navigation of a sideline can be an interesting aspect of covering action sports, especially football.  As an action photographer I have to move up and down the field of play because staying in one spot won’t produce many compelling shots.  So with my big sports lens on the monopod in one hand and my other telephoto lens on my shoulder, up and down the sidelines I went.  With so many players and coaches, medical staff and others on the sidelines you have to be careful not to get in the way.  Part of the challenge of being a sports photographer is being in the right spot at the right time, which can be a challenge. Take the shot below for example.  I was trying to rush through players to get a closer shot of the kicker punting.  Let’s just say this offense moves the ball so there isn’t many punts that have happened this season.  As I was covering another player on offense I lost track of downs and realized they were about to punt.  I rush up the field and just as the ball gets snapped I stick my lens between two players and get the shot.  The “drop” as kickers call it.  

This leads me to say that so many things can get in your way when trying to take a picture at a football game.  If it isn’t a player it’s a coach or a referee or some random person.  You get used to it and learn to watch your surroundings.  I do not get frustrated at all.  The last thing I want to do is be in the way of a coach or player who is trying to focus on winning a game.  My job is to be a fly on the wall and capture moments that are raw.  I think that is what I like most about sports photography, the raw emotion.  People aren’t posed expecting a photo to be taken, they are just being who they are. 

Woodford handled PLD 62-12, moving to 3-0 on the season. The Jackets have outscored opponents 152-25 so far this season.  Next week they are on the road at Tates Creek (1-2). 

Here are a few shots from the game.