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Battle of the Big Sandy

  • October 10, 2010 9:15 pm

Friday night was the Battle of the Big Sandy, where the football teams from Bridgeport and Decatur met on the Football Field to compete for bragging rights.  It’s been a small town rivalry for as long as I can remember, and probably even long before that.  It’s one of those moments that defines life in these Small Towns, and it’s one of those traditions that makes me feel so lucky to live here.

Everyone showed up to the game.  I’ve often wondered if Main Street Decatur and Bridgeport feel like ghost towns on the night of The Big Game.  This year, Wise Regional Health System delivered the Game Ball again to Center Field.  Wow.  The kids were in awe of the celebration around the start of the game.  Representatives from both police stations posted the Colors and stood at attention during the playing of our Star Spangled Banner.  The elementary schools competed in a canned food drive to benefit WARM.  The signs were bigger.  The cheerleaders seemed to yell louder.  The towns were present to cheer on their Team and their Town.

Sadly, as I paint this wonderful small town picture, I have to admit there were a few intense and less than perfect moments up in the Decatur Stands.  Because of the high attendance, the high school student body and season ticket holders had to compete for space.  Season ticket holders wanted to relax and watch the game.  Students wanted to stand and yell for their team.  A few ticket holders asked the students to sit, and students declined their request.  Opinions clashed.  Tempers soared.  Parents left, and students bristled.

A peacemaker by heart, I can honestly see both sides of this equation.  I understand the season ticket holder’s claim to his seat.  I am a season ticket holder myself, and had to peer around the student body to see specific plays in the game.  I understand that, as an adult, I should be respected and students should not disregard my requests lightly.  I get that.  So, students, shame on you for not respecting your elders.  That’s just bad manners.

But.

Elders, shame on you for not delighting in the excitement of this student body.  That’s bad manners, too.  This is Their Time.  This was the most crowded game of the year, and we were all there to support Our Team.  Think on this.  What if the stands were empty?  What if our school, our town, did not show up on Friday Nights to shout their school spirit with noise makers and REALLY annoying bells?  THAT would be a devastating story to tell, and it’s a story all too common out there in other high schools-and in other towns.  Towns were teachers and principals are pleading with students to attend pep rallies and games.  Towns were schools furnish school tshirts, and students never wear them.  Towns were School Spirit, and Town Pride are not celebrated on Friday Nights-or any other night.  It happens, but we are lucky.

Ultimately, the Decatur Administrative Staff handled the situation with great problem-solving skills, and I have to commend them for that.  Parents and students were re-routed to either “standing” or “sitting” seats, and the cheering progressed, less a few more grumbles here and there.  Bottom line, we were all there to cheer on the Eagles, and they needed it that night-falling to Bridgeport 38-48.  But, that’s ok, there are plenty of Battles in our future.

And, we are lucky.  We are blessed.  We live in Small Town Texas, where Friday Night lights up the fall, and Decatur can paint the town Blue.  And, not to mention, we’ve got spirit, yes we do.  We’ve got Spirit, how ’bout you?

Friday Night Lights

  • September 9, 2010 7:29 pm

It’s that time again.

The Scroggins Five will be sporting their Decatur Blue t-shirts to school tomorrow, and I imagine we might splurge on a few Eagle tattoos while we’re at it.  We plan to meet up with our fellow season-ticket holders to make a gameplan for the game.  Our kids are still a little high maintenance, and while some still sit in our laps, others are confined to the “fence” (you know what I’m talking about), and then there’s the older ones that think they are ready to wander.  We’ve got the buddy system already in place, but sometimes thos kids-they think they are smarter than the Moms!  Silly, isn’t it?

But we’re all excited.

We are excited about seeing friends that attend other elementaries this year.  We are excited about hearing the band play the Fight Song for the first time this Fall.  We are excited to see how the Football Team will perform…but most of all, we are just excited to walk through those stadium gates, under the stadium lights and continue the tradition of Our Small Town.

Go Eagles!

I’m Awesome

  • September 18, 2009 8:29 pm

You just had no idea. 

You might remember me discussing our last trip to a Decatur Football game, and the longing my Little Guy had for one of those LITTLE FOOTBALLS.  How much he NEEDED one of those to make his life COMPLETE.  How my explanations of the rules behind those little footballs just sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher droning on and on, and all he could think about was how to GET ONE OF THOSE FOOTBALLS.

Well, tonight, I caught one.

That’s right.  Not only did I acquire one of these little treasures, but I caught it all ON MY OWN.  If ONLY my Little Guy could have seen me in action, I’m sure he would have been even more impressed.  As it was, he was out socializing with the other three and four year olds, no doubt discussing how to get their hands on said footballs.  When he did return to the stands, and I showcased my talents, he was over the moon.  That’s really the only way to describe his subdued excitement.  He looked at me with huge eyes full of awe and wonder at how I could have accomplished such an enormous feat.  The rest of the evening, I was his hero.  He sat next to me, clutching that football and watching the rest of the game.  No more wandering for him; he’d struck gold, and his Mommy was the one who made it happen.

I try, as we all do, to be a fun Mommy everyday.  I put notes in lunches; I put suprise jolly ranchers in backpacks; I plan field trips and parties; I insist on downtime.  Little did I know that my receiver skills would come in handy, and that something seemingly so insignificant would rock someone’s world.

My Little Guy’s all tucked into bed, dreaming of his first soccer game in the morning, and snuggling with his little football tonight.  I’m about to drift off to dreamland myself, basking in the glory of my own accomplishments.

Homecoming

  • September 17, 2009 7:50 pm

Tomorrow, we are headed out to Eagle Stadium for the Homecoming Festivities.  I think there is something uniquely special about a Smalltown Homecoming.  The jingle of the mums and garters, the sound of the bands, the sparkles on the dresses, and the smiles on the alumni. 

As a student, I remember looking forward to Homecoming festivities.  We decorated the high school halls, had a bonfire, and sometimes assembled floats for a parade.  All the work and hoopla just added to those special high school memories and friendships.  As a college student, I wanted to come home to at least one game that first year, and I chose Homecoming.  I realized that in some ways Decatur would always be my home, and for me, that was huge.  As a “grown-up,” I’ll admit that we’ve missed more homecomings than we’ve made, but now that we’re back here with our family, we plan on making it a yearly tradition.

I’m looking forward to hearing cowbells bounce off those ridiculously huge mums, and getting caught up in the atmosphere of Smalltown Friday Night.  I have our Decatur Blue washed and ready, and plan on singing along to the school song, knowing we’re living “the stuff in the middle.”

Friday Night Lights

  • September 6, 2009 11:32 am

Smalltown football. There’s just nothing else like it.  I think there may even be a movie or two about it. 

Friday night started the season for this year, and of course, we were there in our new Season Ticket Seats.  Some things have changed since I was a student; the bleachers are twice their size, and the fans gesture ”number 1″ during the school song.  But other things are the same; I still know the words to that song, and the cheerleaders dance the same dance.  The little kids run around in football jerseys and cheerleading uniforms, and parents watch both their kids and the Eagles hoping neither gets injured.

I thought that when the kids grew out of toddlerhood, these kinds of activities would be more manageable.  They would be able to entertain themselves or maybe even watch the activity we were attending.  But, in some ways it’s not working out like that.  My 8-year-old wants to wander the football stands with her friends, and check in every so often when she needs money for gatorade and ring pops.  My 6-year-old wants to actually play football, either in front of the stands, underneath the stands, or behind the stands.  My 3-year-old wants the cheerleaders to throw him one of those little footballs, and does not understand why we have to wait for a touchdown to even have the opportunity to MAYBE catch one of those little treasures.  All of this, while my husband and I try to have complete conversations with our own friends.  Social Multi-tasking.  That’s what I call it, but I’d like to know if I’m following the rules. 

What is the protocol for kid wandering and behavior at the football games?  I keep a pretty close eye on mine, but feel like a helicopter mom in the process. 

Despite all the spastic coming and going, there were a few moments where we all were taken in by the Magic of Friday Night.  My 8-year-old started mimicking the drill team’s choreography.  My 6-year-old watched in amazement as a football player took off his helmet and picked up his drumsticks to march with the band.  And, my 3-year old snuggled in my lap during the 4th quarter, wishing hard for one of those little footballs.  We have at least a million more Friday Nights in our future, and I’m looking forward to all of them; the kids are too, already plotting against me.