Patrick Shelby

Patrick Shelby

The excitement of high school football, “Friday Night Lights” returned to the Lower Valley and brought out all the community spirit of cheering on our hometown teams with a resounding first class sportsmanship quality.

The fun filled sporting environments which accommodated football fans sitting on the same side while cheering for different teams made the overall experience memorable – more like magical. It was like a ‘remember where you were’ occasion.

As I entered Art Fiker Stadium in Prosser an hour before kick-off last Friday, there were 142 Sunnyside students who rode the school bus together for the “rerivalry” game. Prosser High School officials were gracious to allow the student body fans to utilize their field to hang out, enjoy a slice of pizza and celebrate being classmates.

The atmosphere was electric for fans, friends and families attending the game and wearing their team’s swag in full fashionable pride. Everyone was there to soak up the season opening spectacle of game night. Faces were vibrantly painted and decorated with red and white flair for the animated charm.

While on the field, you could feel the crowds’ enthusiasm and hear their excitement for being in the stadium and part of the game. The players had been preparing for this moment with a determined sweat and deserved to be in awe as they were totally energized and thrilled to be on the field.

The game was a coming of age time for students, parents, athletes and coaches. There would be on the field moments which would challenge players’ resolve to rise up and confront the competition with the power of faith and sportsmanship that will endure a lifetime.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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