Friday marks the official start to the 2015 football season — one that promises up to 16 weeks of competition. But outside of the X's and O's, playoff favorites and highly touted recruits, there are a lot of fun things that North Suncoast high school football has to offer. Here are some of our favorites: 1. Tailgating, literally: An old football tradition gets a twist when you can enjoy the game from the comfort of your own vehicle. In places like Zephyrhills, there's no need to sit on those cold, generic bleachers. Just back your pickup to the stadium fence, and enjoy the action from the bed of your truck. 2. Voice of the … : Whether it's Frank Stockowski at Springstead, Monte Patterson at Hernando, an excitable Brian Bennett at Hudson or any of other distinguishable voices for their programs, the announcers who boom over the loudspeakers make game day really feel like game day. You know you're at Tom Fisher Stadium when you hear Patterson yell, "Get loud if you're Leopard proud!" 3. Familiar faces: Whether the program's history spans years or decades, the people on hand each season make watching football under the Friday night lights habitual. While the students change year by year, there are devout alumni and parents who are drawn back. From Tim Garrison, who hosts a radio show at Weeki Wachee, to former Springstead principal Susan Duval, who never misses a home game, the number of die-hards are too numerous to count. 4. Real stadium life: The long walk to the top of the bleachers lets you know it's time for football on many campuses. Springstead's Booster Stadium, Hernando's Tom Fisher Stadium, the Swamp at Land O'Lakes or River Ridge's Jim Valentine Athletic Complex, among others, feature large concrete bleachers that can provide quite a workout. And in terms of grand ol' stadiums, nothing beats W.F. Edwards Stadium at Pasco High. Among the newer programs, Fivay has an athletic complex that borders on luxurious, and the football field's playing surface is immaculate (the grub's good, too). Mitchell consistently has full stands to support its Mustangs (ditto on the food, with the band running the concession stands and Chick-fil-A always on hand). 5. First and 10. Do it again: Friday night football wouldn't be much of an event without the infectious spirit of the high school cheerleading squads. The large co-ed factions dance, cheer and toss out souvenirs to a hungry crowd. Among the more notable squads? Wiregrass Ranch, Mitchell, Pasco and Land O'Lakes. 6. They've got spirit, yes they do: Student sections also ensure the crowd stays pumped — and color coordinated — throughout the game. One of our favorites from last season? The purple-painted Royal Knights fan base — AKA the Purple Posse — at River Ridge. 7. Fight songs: The bands in the area contribute heavily to the atmosphere on game day. When you hear the sounds of top programs like Sunlake, Springstead, and Land O'Lakes playing the songs of college football teams from around the nation, it can give you goose bumps. 8. Natural beauty: For sheer aesthetics, River Ridge has no peer. The aforementioned long walk comes with a reward, as the Royal Knights' field sets neatly against a tree-lined backdrop. "They just don't make them like this anymore," River Ridge coach Ryan Benjamin said. 9. Watch the future now: Standouts that play under the Friday night lights might be coming to your TVs on Saturday afternoons soon. Current college stars include Pasco alums Janarion Grant (Rutgers) and Joey Ivie (Florida) and Nature Coast's Matt Breida (Georgia Southern). 10. Rivalries: Pasco-Zephyrhills (Nov. 6 this year), or the 9-Mile War, is the standard bearer. But the blood boils pretty fiercely, too, when Sunlake plays Land O'Lakes (Sept. 18), Wiregrass Ranch meets up with Wesley Chapel (Sept. 4), and Brooksville schools Hernando and Nature Coast (Oct. 30) get together.