Main Street is abandoned, the neighborhoods have quieted, and traffic along Highway 123 is moving again.
It is football Friday in Easley, and it seems as if a third of the city’s population is filing into the new stadium in search of their favorite seat along one of the yard lines.
I can see the gang from Joe’s restaurant, neighbors, and city officials joining the wave of citizen supporters, splashed in the team colors and rolling through the stadium gates in a green sea of long sleeves, hoodies, and sweatshirts.
The crowd has gathered, the field has been prepared, and the teams are now set to throw themselves against one another for victory.
Lead by head coach, Chad Smith, Easley is 6-1 this season and an impressive 26-7 over the last two and a half years; and since assuming the role as head football coach, the team has become a physical group, and for what they may lack in athleticism, they make up for in strength.
The Double Wing is the offense of choice, which puts an emphasis on power running and has helped the team to outgain their opponents by nearly 240 yards per game this season while averaging six more minutes possessing the football.
It is a group that is hardnosed and tough minded, and bears a most accurate representation of its coach, a former offensive lineman who prefers to earn the kind of victories that will leave a little blood on his knuckles.
This team is the text book definition of smash-mouth, and even if another team should leave Easley with a victory, they will do so knowing that they have been in a fight, knowing that they have barely escaped, and hoping that the name “Green Wave” is absent from next year’s season schedule.
Football Fridays in Easley have become something to talk about, something to mark on the calendar, and as I look down upon the scene in its entirety, I can see that the Green Wave have already done so.
From a distance, a large cloud of dust ascends and obscures the lighting above the stadium, all one can hear is the occasional roar of the crowd, the popping of the camera fire, and the athletes on the field, with the beating of their feet as they run.
Go Green, Roll Wave!