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Sunday, November 15, 2009

You just can't hide that Tiger Pride

I believe you've rarely, if ever, heard me talk high school football in this blog. That is for several good reasons. One is that I haven't lived in my hometown during football season since, well, high school, (and I've got a 10 year reunion coming up this year, for reference) so the one team I'm most inclined to follow hasn't really been on my radar. That said, as with most of the other sports I follow, keeping an eye on a program from a distance is not a problem for me, if I have reason to care.

The top reason? A.I. duPont football, for as long as I've had reason to follow it, has not been good. I don't know the exact numbers, but a friend of mine from my graduating class stated that we won seven games in our four years there, and I'm inclined to believe him.

I feel pretty confident when I state that my high school's social hierarchy was not at all like yours. The biggest reason I'm the band dork I am today (and mind you, I wasn't even fully aware of the concept of "band dork" until I left high school) is because of my high school band experience. Our drum major used to play football and quit the team when he was selected. Young women tried out for the cheerleading squad only after they found out that didn't make band fronts. And it wasn't that varsity athletics weren't important at AI. To the contrary--the majority of the band members were varsity athletes. We held multiple state championships, including winning every year in girl's soccer throughout my high school career. But when it came to the battle for Friday nights, that competition ended with the halftime show.

That's why I've been appalled and pleasantly surprised as I've seen the facebook updates from those who are still close to the football program (mostly my old band director): Still undefeated at midseason. 6-0. 7-0. and on and on until yesterday I see that AI ended the regular season undefeated--a perfect 10-0--and is bound for the state playoffs for the first time since I was an infant. What's more, they've allowed 20 points all season long.

To put it simply, the Tigers are beasting on the football field, and not just during halftime anymore.

As you've no doubt discerned if you've read this for any significant amount of time, I follow my high school band (who, by the way, is headed back to the Fiesta Bowl Parade this year) like I follow my sports teams. Now I've got a reason to keep an eye on my football team as well. I hope to be able to make a game when I'm up home for Thanksgiving, but whether I can or not, Go Tigers!!
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