They can be found on the golf course, tennis courts and cross-country trails every fall, and there are plenty of them in the stands at football, soccer, softball and volleyball games.
Parents are the biggest supporters of our local high school teams. But even rooting for their children and their local teams can be a difficult task for most parents.
I've witnessed parents hiding out of view at golf and tennis matches so their children can't see the anxiety or excitement in their eyes. I've watched parents comfort their children after a loss or injury.
The fact is that for parents, watching a child in a competitive situation can be stressful. Just like their children on the field, the emotions of parents ride on the next goal or touchdown. The only difference is that they have no control over the outcome.
As a parent, I'm looking forward to and dreading the day when my children come to me and tell me they want to play high school sports.
If they do decide to play a sport, I'm going to have to find a class about how to watch high school sports, or maybe I can start some kind of 12-step program.
Wouldn't it be great if someone actually offered a course that covers the basics of appropriate cheering techniques, the best way to utter an expletive under your breath and, most important, how to let you children know they are the most important things in the world without embarrassing them by yelling their names every time they step onto the field?
It also would be nice if the class offered techniques for dealing with overtime and playoffs and a discussion about why parents might not want to paint their faces and go topless to a November playoff football game. This would be especially helpful for the mothers.
I would be the first in line for such a class, because I have a hard time sitting down in a chair when the Broncos play, and I'm not related to a single player on the field.
Unfortunately, not being related to anyone on the field has never stopped me from yelling at my TV when the officials make a call I don't agree with.
If the Broncos win, the players get more money, attention and glory. The only way it will change my life is if that game helps me win the office pool. Then I could go to lunch instead of eating at my in-laws' house.
But don't take what I'm saying the wrong way. I think parents play a very important role in high school athletics, and though I've witnessed a lot of enthusiastic parents throughout the years, I can't think of any that have reached that embarrassing level.
It's not always easy being a parent, but being in the stands, on the sidelines and at the games is one of the most important things we will ever do.