It was a pleasant evening for a carnival.

There were booths in which one could purchase all kinds of Wampus Cat souvenirs, big and small.

There were long lines at a snow-cone booth.

Some coaches took their turns at a dunking booth to the delight of students.

Lots of mingling.

Among several youngsters, there was talk of which party to attend Saturday night.

In the distance, there were lights a short distance away.

Lights were on and last-minute work was appeared to be going on at the new Conway High School. Just a little more than a football field away, lights were on and work was being done by players and coaches at John McConnell Stadium.

There was sense of urgency on both spectrums.

The first day of school in the Wampus Cats’ new digs was Monday.

The start of football season is fewer than two weeks away. Conway High plays at North Little Rock on Wednesday in a benefit scrimmage.

For almost two decaces, the Wampus Cat Steak-Out, with scrimmages among all Conway Public Schools football teams plus some intrasquad volleyball games, has become the major social event that precedes the athletic season.

Again and naturally, there was a good crowd, a changing crowd as the various scrimmages concluded. As usual, there was a lot of activity in the open areas and the concourse of the stadium.

As usual, football coaches were working in earnest.

As usual, much of the emphasis was on younger players and giving everyone a chance to play.

"For many of the younger players, it was their first time before a crowd and that brings more pressure and we needed to see what they could do," said Conway coach Clint Ashcraft. "Our older guys looked pretty sharp at times. The focus tonight was on the younger players. They got more reps. When we go to North Little Rock, the older guys would get the reps.

"We had some alignment issues, busted routes and things that we have to get corrected. But this gives us a look at where we are with all the players in the program."

At the conclusion of the scrimmage, public address announcer Mike Harrison said, "Students and teachers, we’ll see you bright and early Monday morning."

Another season is upon.

Where has the summer gone?

Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or