Beavercreek QB Jacob Maloney (front) is ridden down by Xenia’s Ken Klontz. Beavercreek hosted Xenia in a season-opening high school football game on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Ten weeks to remember forever: giving thanks for high school football

Depending how many channels you get, there are at least five football games of various kinds on television tonight.

College, pro, indoor. Even Canadian. Take your pick.

The great American game really began for the Miami Valley on Thursday night, though, with what out of context sounds like a pretty insane happening.

Strange but true: Beavers won bragging rights over Buccaneers, and all became right with the world.

No, not because I bleed Black and Orange of Beavercreek or grew up hating Xenia. (I’ve got deep roots on both sides of that particular rivalry game, now that you mention it…)

Because football is back. High school football to be precise.

The draft is fun. Free agency is interesting, and recruiting seems to get bigger and bigger every year.

There’s still something special about the pomp and circumstance of college football games even as they get harder and harder to distinguish from the NFL.

PHOTOS: Beavercreek vs. Xenia

Forget all that, though. The real games begin now.

Ten nights a year that are different than any others. Nights that won’t soon, if ever, be forgotten.

(Check my Facebook feed if you don’t believe me.)

“Friday Night Lights” is a book based on a high school team in West Texas, but it’s a nationwide phenomenon, and nobody does it better than we do in southwest Ohio.

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They will be the last 10 nights of football for many players in the area, so here’s hoping they make the best of them. Go out and see them if you can.

Life goes on when these nights are through, of course, but it will never be the same for everyone who grew up wanting nothing more than to put on a helmet, crack those pads and represent their friends and family on the football field.

Thankfully, the lessons last forever – even if some of the aches and pains do, too.

Just 10 nights a year. Nights to cherish. Nights to cheer. Nights to cry and (some places still) run the veer.

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Buses to ride. Ankles to tape. Catches, runs and blocks to make.

I could go on and on, but by now you should be getting the point.

Rhyme time means it’s time to wrap things up before they get too crazy.

There are games to watch anyway.

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