It’s finally time for football season

We’re embarking on my second football season as sports editor of The Outlook, and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited.

That first year at a new job is all about getting your feet wet — starting to understand what readers are looking for, becoming familiar with area coaches and learning about each local team.

Although I still don’t know if I’d call myself an expert because there’s always more to learn, I’d say I have a pretty good handle on what’s what here in Tallapoosa and Coosa counties. I think I understand this community and just how important sports, especially football season, is to people in it. I have a great working relationship with our area coaches and am blessed to have five men who have been so supportive with everything I’ve asked (maybe demanded) of them throughout the season.

That’s why I’m hoping I’ll be able to bring you even better coverage than last year, and it all begins today. Once again, Scott Hardy and I will be hosting a pair of weekly shows, Inside the Lines and Inside the Lines Live. The first, a preview show of each local game, premiers today, while we’ll have two Live shows this week — one at Dadeville versus Horseshoe Bend and one at Benjamin Russell versus Beauregard. Those will begin at 6 p.m. every Friday night, and sometimes Thursday, on The Outlook Facebook page.

During the live show especially, we’ll be open to answering viewers’ questions and we’ll be hosting an interview segment where we’ll bring in a special guest most weeks.

We’ll also be re-introducing the 2-Minute Drill, which will be live on Facebook every Friday night, giving you a quick rundown of scores and highlights from around the area. It’ll hopefully entice you to pick up a copy of Sports Extra, our special section in every Saturday edition. Sports Extra is Alabama’s biggest weekly high school football edition.

Also, this year, I invite you to play along with our Weekend Football Forecast to see if you can beat some of the experts around the area. In addition to our usual suspects, one of this year’s prognosticators will be Santana Wood, our fantastic design editor, who knows more behind the scenes than you might expect.

The Weekend Football Forecast will also feature one of my favorite segments of the football season, our Pet Pick of the Week. We’re once again teaming up with Lake Martin Animal Shelter to bring you a weekly dose of cuteness mixed with football predictions; what more do you need?

Finally, if you want to know what’s going on more around the area, check out TPI Games to Watch, which will feature the best games from our area as well as from the Wetumpka and Tallassee areas.

Clearly it’s bound to be another insanely busy football season, but we at The Outlook are diving right in and hope you will too. As always, I’m happy to hear suggestions, answer questions and listen to story ideas. Reach me via email (lizi.arbogast@alexcityoutlook.com); on Twitter (@liziarbogast) or on Facebook. Or, find me on the sidelines. I’m always happy to talk football.

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor of The Outlook.