By MURPHY FAIR
The 2014 high school football season has arrived. A number of jamborees across the state last week gave fans a sneak peek at what to expect this fall. Action on the gridiron kicks into full gear this week as Week Zero ushers in the official season. No fewer than 165 high school games are scheduled this coming weekend, mostly on Friday night.
In order to tell you, the fan, even more about what to expect this fall, I am embarking on a new venture. The High School Sports Page will air for the first time on News Channel 5+ this coming Wednesday, August 20. I will serve as the host for the weekly show, which is scheduled for the 8-9 p.m. time slot. Encore episodes of the program will repeat Thursday mornings from 4:30-5:30 and Thursday afternoons from 2-3 o'clock. The show is scheduled for all 11 weeks of the regular season.
Terry Merrell, the voice of Williamson County sports for the past 17 years, will serve as my co-host. A quarterback for the Marshall County Tigers several years ago in Lewisburg, Terry regularly follows teams throughout the midstate. I look forward to working with him in this new endeavor.
A healthy dose of nervousness will certainly accompany the excitement of having my own television show. News Channel 5+ goes into more than 650,000 homes. The coverage area for the Nashville based television station includes virtually all of middle Tennessee, more than a dozen west Tennessee counties and a large part of southern Kentucky.
Terry and I plan on interviewing two or three coaches on the show each week. Administrators from the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, representatives of various officiating associations, and others components that make the high school football experience so special here in Tennessee will also be represented regularly on the program.
I'm learning very quickly, however, that producing a TV show takes a great deal of time. And with two weekly radio programs still on my weekly agenda, I have found that the time it takes to write a weekly newspaper column has disappeared. I will certainly miss sharing with you so many of the great stories I encounter, stories away from the field of battle that make this game so special.
Thank you all for the kind words you have passed my way over the last few years. I hope you have enjoyed reading my stories as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. I expect to share more great stories with you in the future. They'll just be over the airwaves rather than on the newspaper page.
Murphy Fair has published TENNESSEE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL for 27 years. His statewide syndicated radio show (Murphy's Matchups) can be heard locally on Thursday evenings on WGNS (1450 AM). You can also hear him Friday evenings (6 p.m.) on Nashville's sports talk station, 104.5 The Zone.