"The" Big Game for Small Town High was played on Saturday. I talked about the game here last year. This year it was our turn to host. Last year, the game was played on Thursday; this year it was on Saturday. In all honesty, I expected the game to be over with by halftime. STHS played last Saturday for a "kick-off classic" at our rival high school, and this week we played the rival high school. If you don't feel like going back and reading last year's post, here's just a little bit of background: If it's not the oldest rivalry, it's the most fierce in our state. Rival High has 3 times more students than STHS. When I was in high school, "the bridge" was painted several times each night during the week leading up to the game. There were egg fights, and constant police-patrolling. If you were caught doing something you weren't suppose to do, you spent the time during the game at the police station. There have been chickens and mice let loose in the school; there has been a rebel flag (our rival's flag) in the middle of our duck pond. (The duck pond is at the bottom of the hill in front of the elementary school: the middle & high schools are at the top of the hill.) This year, the Rival HS declared a "throw-back" to the rivalry: The windows of our high school were painted on, but they used the window paint that can be washed off as opposed to the "old days" when real paint was used! There was also a rebel flag in the middle of the duck pond. I think they'd better watch out next year: What goes around, comes around! Someone said that the bridge was painted quite a bit this week, too. Aaaaah...nice to know some things eventually cycle around!
Since the game was on Saturday this year, the band boosters had an extra day to get ready for the concessions. We usually have 2 concessions: upper (behind the pressbox) that serves pizza, hot dogs, nachos & chili, popcorn, candy, and drinks, and lower that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, chili dogs, french fries, and drinks. The last time we hosted the game, the athletic director had an ingenious idea to also have a couple of "satellite stations" that only served drinks and hot dogs. That way, if someone just wanted a drink, they wouldn't have to stand in a long line. We also had an additional drink-only stand this year. Anyway, we got started on Friday afternoon, putting tables up and getting drinks ready to be iced down. We also had to load drinks onto a big refrigerated truck. The band had a practice run through on Friday that the parents were invited to; it was amazing that after they got through, everyone disappeared except for two parents who aren't on the executive board. It took about 3 hours, but we got it done. I didn't think my bed could feel any better than it did Friday night...until Saturday night.
Saturday was a LOOOOONNNGGG day. And that doesn't even begin to describe it. I got there around 11:10, and there were 4 people already in line, waiting for the gate to open at 3:00. Yes, I said 3:00. And, one of the band moms said there were a couple of people in line when she got there at 10:00. Y'all: the game didn't even start until 7:00. Jerry Rice talked to each of the teams prior to the game and did the coin toss. This is arguably the biggest game of the year, except for the state championships.
I managed to sit down for a few minutes a couple of times after I got to the school, but it was never for long. My feet still hurt on Sunday. I only got to watch a couple of plays, but it seemed to be a good game. They scored, we scored. They scored twice, we scored once. They scored again, we scored. Final score: Rival: 26, Small Town: 19. Coach was pleased with the kids' performance; last week after the game he said that if they don't play better during the rival game, it will be over by Thursday. Yep, he wasn't too pleased with them last week. Rival high school is in the 6A class, small town is 3A, so the ultimate goal this year is state championship #8 in a row. If they keep playing like they played on Saturday, they should be able to meet that goal.
Back to concessions: All of the band parents were amazing. Once everybody knew what their job was, everything ran very smoothly. It was hot, it was busy, but everybody did their job. One of the moms who is an incredible organizer (don't know what we'd do without her!) left during the game to go home and rest so she could come back for the end of the game for cleanup. She kept talking about how guilty she felt, but another mom told her that she had worked hard all week (much harder than most of us), so she deserved it. Here's the scary thing: that mom's son almost wasn't in band this year. He decided at the last minute to play. I could've hugged his neck! I don't know what we would've done without her.
To conclude: I can't even begin to describe how glad I am that these last 3 weeks are over. Even though the season has just started, it's all downhill from here. Small Town's winning streak, which was the 2nd longest in the country, starts over next week. Band parents are the bomb!