I understand why high school football serves as the life blood for many small towns across the country. All-American Public Schools has the unique distinction of being a suburban district that surrounds it’s very own small town. This makes for a small-town sense of community with the resources brought by size and a larger tax base.
But it was the sense of community that came to the forefront last night, the date of our annual matchup with our cross-town rival. In all honesty, I’d paid much less attention to the build up of this game than usual. Work has not been a very pleasant place to be lately, with too much to do, too little time to do it, and too much controversy. And all that swirling around with more than a whiff of panic about the swine flu.
I hadn’t read much of the local press coverage, and I didn’t even make it over to the pregame pep rally. That’s a first since my move from the high school to the central office. When Adventure Guy asked me for my pre-game predictions, I told him I wasn’t really sure, but that the prevailing wisdom seemed to be going against All-American High.
Despite my overall ambivalence about this year’s game, I managed to acquire the coveted sideline passes that Soccer Boy wanted, a move that proved quite positive. There’s just something about being close to the action and watching the looks of intensity on the players’ faces that makes it hard not to be excited.
And this game was nothing if not exciting. We screamed and jumped our way through interceptions, fumbles, safeties, onside kick recoveries, and ongoing lead changes. And finally, we watched the All-American High students, which included DD1 for the first time, storm the field to celebrate with the team at the end of the game.
It was a good night. And it even gives me a little hope that prospects for this school year will look a different on Monday.