I finally attended my first ball game here at school. I LOVED it! After teaching in a big school for a number of years, I had forgotten how a small school can take over a building and with fewer folk offer amazing crowd support.
Imagine if you will...
- Our gym is the size of the court with bleachers up 5-8 rows; there are also bleachers on the far end of one side of the court. I believe 'tight fit' is a avid description.
- 100+ high school boys all dressed in black filling one side (3/4 of it) of the court.
- Parents, former parents, grand parents, former students, and teachers from our school and parents/kiddos from the other school flowing over the remainder of the bleachers.
- 2 local teams of 6' ?" boys; ranked 6th and 7th in the state right now.
If you've got all this in your head, you've realized that the game was bound to be tight. Now add these events to the background...We began with a prayer to bless all the players, students, and fans. Immediately after, the boys began to cheer; all the boys in unison while being led by the "Yell Leaders" who were also dressed in black for the night. The leaders take this role very seriously. The cheers from the boys were constant, loud, and chanted with a precision that left the words deafeningly clear (don't worry they were appropriate). The other school's cheer leaders (while the girls did attract attention) were unable to be heard over the din of our boys. During a few questionable calls, the leaders did exercise their control and quiet our boys down to keep anyone from overly vexing the referees calling the game. The varsity game was held to a 5 to 10 point game throughout the night. But it was the speed that amazed me. I hadn't been this close to a court in over a decade. The boys from both teams were relying on a fast paced game. The others were fast on pressing down the court, but our boys passed with a force that made me flinch when the slap of their hands on the ball felt too close to my personal space.
During one of the time outs, while our yell leaders were leading the student crowd in an imitation of a roller coaster ride, I began to chat with the folk around me. Only one couple had a son on the floor. The rest of the crowd around me were parents of non-basketball students, pep band parents, former students, and even folks whose kids had graduated years before. This was a home town game in the sense of the 'home town' coming together to watch the boys play a tough match. I had forgotten how much fun this could be.
Blessings & Go Knights!
Oh! The half-time show brought immediate silence to our side of the bleachers. The Yell Leaders had the students and parents seated in moments, the lights turned off, and a certain monks black lights and ropes arranged. The cowboy monk wore neon covered boots and hat, and did rope tricks with his lassos, which were also coated in neon paint. He received as much cheer support as the boys on the court. It was wonderful to see.