On Sept. 1, 1984, the headline was "Lassiter in a rout, 37-0," highlighting a dominating performance over Sprayberry.

The secondary story on the front page of sports was "McEachern defense halts Marietta."

And this was the way high school football coverage in the MDJ's Saturday sports section was born. It was the first year in the paper’s history that a Saturday paper became the norm.

Over the last 35 years, a full section of high school football to kick off the weekend has been the standard. But times change, and so do traditions.

This season, because of new deadlines, the MDJ Saturday sports section will have a limited taste of the Friday night action. On most Saturdays, the print edition will include photos with a complete scoreboard of Friday night’s action. The complete coverage readers have come to expect will appear in the Sunday edition.

As we have done for more than a decade, we invite you to the Cobb Football Friday website (www.cobbfootballfriday.com), where readers will still get all the game recaps as soon as we can get them published.

In addition, subscribers who want the page-flipping experience on Saturdays will be able to find our full game coverage in the digital e-edition at MDJonline.com.

For those readers who want to be able to read the recaps in newsprint, or to clip the articles from the paper to make scrapbooks and keepsakes, that opportunity will still present itself as we will be supersizing the Sunday sports section to include all those late game stories.

As big of a change as this is, it actually is a return to an earlier era for the paper. From 1947 through 1983 -- a space of 36 years -- all the high school coverage from Friday night was in Sunday’s paper.

I assure you, this decision was not made lightly, and we want to assure our readers that high school football is still one of our passions, just like yours. The rest of our coverage will seem similar.

This Sunday, we offer "Kickoff '19," our 200-page football preview issue. It is full of previews, features and information you may need to prepare you for the local high school and college football seasons. This year’s Dynamite Dozen is the second class in history where all 12 will likely compete for Power 5 schools, while we offer predictions for each region and conference, and we have all schedules you may need.

On Fridays, we will still have our eight-page Cobb Football Friday preview section that will get you ready for that night’s games.

Make sure you come to the CFF website to play our annual UPICKEM contest, where you can compete against your friends and others around the county for a chance to win an iPad each week, along with a grand prize for the overall season winner. We also have the real-time scoreboard, and if you are at the game, follow us on Twitter @CobbFballFri to receive real-time updates from around the county and beyond.

The super-sized Sunday edition will include our CFF weekend wrap-up page, which highlights all of Friday’s best performances, complete statistics, the first look at next week’s schedule and the Cobb Football Friday Player of the Week.

Our news-and-notes story will appear in Monday’s edition, and Wednesday will have the Cobb Football Friday Defensive Player of the Week.

We are set up for another big year of Cobb County football, and we’re excited to bring it to you.

John Bednarowski is  sports editor of the Marietta Daily Journal and  former president of the Associated Press Sports Editors. He can be reached at sportseditor@mdjonline.com or on Twitter @jbednarowski.


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