Twelve days later, I'm finally writing about this great event... While I feel incredibly lazy these days when it comes to writing, I don't want 2010 to pass by without recording this magnificient moment in time.
On December 11th, I had the priviledge to see the hometown high school football team play in the state championship game. The Warriors (us) versus the Timberwolves.
Oh, it was glorious. Absolutely.
The game was held at one of the big state universities. Crowds upon crowds of people came to support both teams. Parents, teachers, people from the community, alumni, and many others came to witness the big game.
The stakes were high. Both teams had played each other before. The Warriors lost against the Timberwolves the first time. Would they be able to win against them? That is the question we all were anxious to answer. Not only was it a rematch, and for a big title, but the Warriors have never had a state championship title. Yes, for the 42 years that my old high school has been established, it has never won a state championship game. For many many years, my alma mater has been the "loser school." In the past, the football team had an embarrassing history of losing. This negative attitude of losing carried not only through the sports but within the student body. A big contributer to this attitude also has to do with the type of student population. Most of the area is low to middle class, which means that the school lacks in good financial support. Basically, it has been a sad constant cycle for years. As a result, the school just has not had a very good reputation within the community.
Until recently. There have been some great changes. I would love to know where it all started.
I was so amazed when I went to the first football game of the season. There was actually a real student body cheering section. A complete 180 from when I went to school. And of course, our football team has been hugely uplifting. It is amazing what football can do for a community...
After waiting in crowded lines to get through the gates, Mom, my sister and I got good seats with only one row in front of us (and fairly close to the front too). I enjoyed seeing everyone and anyone who came to support the team.
Once the clock started, we took part of the constant cheering and shouting to encourage the guys on the field. I had a surge of anxiety rushing through my body as I saw those players clash together... but oh the joy and relief that came with the first touchdown.
As time got closer to half time, the score was 24 to 0. We were ahead. The Warrior student body yelled the great chant, "I. I believe. I believe that. I believe that we. I believe that we will WIN! I believe that we will WIN! I believe that we will WIN!" That went along with jumping up and down and holding one finger up (as in #1). The student body got the Warrior crowd all fired up and we too were chanting the "I believe" cheer. I believe.
The seconds wound down with much intensity... and so it was the official score going into halftime. We did it. We were ahead.
The game after halftime was a challenge to watch. Could we continue to hold off the Timberwolves with our defense? Honestly, I felt like watching the last half with one eye open! There was a low point in the game when the Timberwolves scored two touchdowns within 14 seconds. Our team had messed up a little and slightly lost their focus. But then... it all came back and they somehow found their energy. I think the home team crowd revved up again and that helped them to feel encouraged. After that slight setback, I think it shocked everyone's system-- made us remember how badly we wanted this win. This was OUR time. Our time to change the history.
The last quarter in a half are kind of a blur in my mind. What I do remember is that the hometeam defense worked their tail off to keep the Timberwolves from scoring again. I think at one point we caught the Timberwolves' fumble and were able to march the ball down the field. All I know is that we made a few more touchdowns. I high fived the hands of the people in front of me and yelled like crazy. Ohhhh how I wanted to win. We wanted to win.
At the end of the 4th quarter, the dream came true,.. Finishing the game with one more touchdown, we had it. We won the State Championship Title, 34 to 13. I will never forget those last three seconds when the hometeam crowd counted down together, "3... 2... 1.... 0" And wow, let the celebrations begin!!!
It was glorious seeing the football team get awarded the Metro League and State Championship trophies. After they were presented with the awards, the crowd rushed onto the field. Just like all the other games, the crowd gathered around the team at the endzone. Such a wonderful moment.
I never want to forget that experience. I loved every minute of it. I couldn't be prouder of my old high school!