I missed last week’s Football Friday festivities here at the TJ because I was on vacation, but I’m back now and I’ll be here for the rest of the season, which I’m so excited about.

Football Fridays are my favorite mostly because we get to come to work a few hours later those days.

I enjoy keeping up with our local teams’ seasons, staying at work until 1 a.m. to help get the paper sent to press, and then there’s the pizza Tricia always provides for us those nights.

I enjoy these Friday nights because they are different from our usual work routine. See, usually, Cody Dowler, our sports editor, is out of the office covering games, taking photos and interviewing coaches and players, so we don’t get to see him or interact with him as much on regular work days.

He is constantly out and about trying to give all of the sports teams in the county as much coverage as possible. But Friday nights during Football season, we actually get to see Cody in action here at the office. Cody always has a game plan in place Thursday, and by Friday night he is reading, writing, editing stories, taking phone calls, calling coaches, checking scores, gathering stats, and keeping the rest of us on task all while taking some quick bites of pizza.

He is in his element here at work on Friday nights and I absolutely love getting to be a part of it. He takes a lot of pride in how the Sports Extra pages look, and he goes above and beyond to get the teams’ stories in the paper so our subscribers can read about the games the next morning. Things run smoothly, most of the time, and at the end of the night, or even in the wee hours of the morning, Cody has managed to put together an entire section of the newspaper, which covers all of the schools in the county.

There are others who play big roles on Football Fridays, and the stories and photos in the paper would not be possible without their help. But I see Cody as the Times-Journal team captain on those nights, and this year he’s going to lead the TJ team through a successful season of Football Friday publications.

So, if you’re ever curious about how things are going in the county, especially during football season, pick up a copy of the Times-Journal and know that it was happily created for you.

Kayla Beaty is the art director at the Times-Journal. Her email address is kbeaty@times-journal.com.

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