Here in Lufkin, we admit we can be a little spoiled when it comes to the start of football season.

While some schools schedule a few breathers (or even worse, they are the breathers) in the early portion of the schedule, Lufkin has a habit of not subscribing to that philosophy.

When some teams are busy winning or losing the season opener by 40 points, we’re packing the stadium for some good ol’ East Texas football.

Lufkin vs. Longview.

Longview vs. Lufkin.

Whichever side you’re on, tonight’s game features all the things we love about high school football.

The Lobos bring one of the best quarterbacks in Texas and a state title to town. Lufkin counters with a history that doesn’t take a back seat to anyone. We also have a few players we’ll take our chances with any day of the week.

So if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket to the game, come on out to Abe Martin Stadium and cheer your lungs out.

No matter who comes out on top, both teams have the talent capable of playing in December. In fact, it was only two years ago that these teams actually played in front of a packed stadium at SFA in December.

It’s not much of a secret that on the football field, we don’t particularly care for Longview.

Here’s another little secret. They don’t really like us either.

Even in today’s politically correct culture, we think that’s OK.

What is even more important is that both teams will respect each other when they walk off the field.

Even the biggest Lobo hater has to admit Longview head coach John King is a class act. We’re guessing the Lobos think the same thing about Todd Quick.

The players will talk a little trash, make plenty of highlight plays and give the fans exactly what they’ve been missing for the last eight months — some good, hard-nosed football.

They’re going to fight like crazy for four quarters, then line up and shake hands like true competitors.

As fans, we need to do the same.

Both tonight and for the rest of the season, let’s keep things civil both in the stands and in the parking lot.

It’s a great game that we love. But at the end of the day, it’s still just a game.

Let’s not ruin it for the kids by acting like fools after it’s over.

Following a Lufkin/Nacogdoches basketball game last season, a brawl nearly broke out among the fans. Apparently it stemmed from some yelling at an earlier football game between the two schools.

Simply put, that is unacceptable, and any “fans” caught going for a repeat of that act aren’t really fans at all.

The solution is simple. Cheer like crazy for the Panthers, and when it’s over, shake the hand of a Longview fan. Don’t swing your hands at them.

When those fights break out, everybody remembers the idiots in the parking lot instead of the athletes on the field.

Hopefully this season will be one to remember for the Panthers. Let’s just make sure we remember it for the right reasons.