— Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com

Friday night would have been the start of my 35th season patrolling Bureau County and north central Illinois football fields.

It’s going to seem strange not covering a game and scrambling back to the office like a quarterback avoiding the rush to write the story and produce the sports pages on a very tight deadline.

What I’m going to miss most ...

The Friday Night Lights.

The Tiger Walk at Princeton.

Thunderstruck at Bureau Valley.

The bowl at St Bede.

The Red Devil mascot at Hall.

And the Hall Hog Soldiers.

Hard hits and the soft touch of a quarterback’s pass.

Long bombs.

Goalline stands.

The roar of the crowd and the oohs and ahs.

The coaches.

The players.

Ronde’s runs.

The men in stripes.

The chain gang.

The cheerleaders.

The poms.

The pep band at halftime.

Stretching out the chains for a first down.

Walking the sidelines.

Things you hear on the sidelines.

The touchdown signal.

The penalty flags.

Running clocks on a late night (helps sportswriters make deadlines).

Postgame team huddles and coach’s pep talks.

Interviewing coaches and players.

Writing the stories and headlines.

Mike Vaughn’s photos.

Getting to do it all over the next week.

Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. He has been covering Bureau County football since 1986. Contact him at khieronymus@bcrnews.com.